Bobbi-Anne McLeod: Council leader suspended from Conservative party over ‘responsibility’ comments

‘This tragedy is in no way her fault’ he said in an apology issued today

A Plymouth City Council leader has been temporarily suspended from the Conservative Party after comments he made about Bobbi-Anne McLoed who was found dead earlier this month.

The 18-year-old girl went missing on 20 November after waiting to catch a bus into town to meet her boyfriend nearby.

During an interview with ITV Westcountry, Cllr Nick Kelly responded to a question regarding the case on Friday, saying: “Everybody has a responsibility not to try to put themselves in a compromising position.”

On Tuesday the Plymouth Sutton and Devonport Conservative Association said Mr Kelly had been temporarily suspended from the party.

A statement read: “Cllr Nick Kelly’s membership of the Conservative Party has been temporarily suspended pending an investigation following comments he was reported to have made in an ITV interview on the 25th November 20212.”

The council leader, now suspended, has since apologised for his comments, adding: “This tragedy is in no way her fault.”

Cllr Kelly’s statement reads: “Over the past 24 hours I have been reflecting on the media reaction that has been developing regarding some of the comments I made in recent interviews.

“I want to start by wholeheartedly apologising, particularly to the family and friends of Bobbi-Anne McLeod, if reported statements made by me earlier this week have caused distress and upset. I want to emphasise that in no way shape or form was I ever suggesting that Bobbi-Anne McLeod did anything wrong. She didn’t.

“This tragedy is in no way her fault. What has happened to her is solely at the hands of the person who took her life.”

He continued:”The fact is the streets of Plymouth must be made safer. It is crucially important that no one feels unsafe whilst out and about in the city, but sadly for many women and girls, this is an all too common feeling.

“I stand together with women to say that violence against women and girls is unacceptable.”

Cody Ackland, 24, has been charged with murder and is currently remanded in custody. He is due to appear in court next on Monday 24 January.