THE leader of Rugby Borough Council has said he is the victim of a smear campaign.
Cllr Craig Humphrey fears someone is trying to ruin his reputation. His claim comes after weeks of unfavourable publicity, led by a series of articles in satirical magazine Private Eye.
“I think this is some kind of smear campaign against me,” said the Rugby Borough Council Conservative group leader.
He believes someone is stretching the truth and spreading rumours.
“There are a couple of people I can think of who would do this and I’ve had enough of it,” he added.
Cllr Humphrey was forced to admit to having been caught driving without insurance. He also faced claims about a conflict of interest between his job as an estate agent and the borough council’s decision to join a government-backed mortgage deposit scheme.
This week the Advertiser was contacted by someone claiming Cllr Humphrey had been caught driving without insurance for a second time.
Cllr Humphrey confirmed his car was twice picked out by police automatic numberplate recognition cameras, but denied he had been convicted and fined once more.
Cllr Humphrey said: “I thought I had insurance so I couldn’t understand it.
“I renewed my insurance policy online last October. It turned out I’d missed a direct debit payment to the insurance company in December and the policy wasn’t valid.”
Cllr Humphrey moved house at Christmas and his mother died on New Year’s Day.
He said: “The insurance company sent the notification to my old address so I didn’t know I was not insured.”
His policy was brought up to date and he accepted the penalty from Warwickshire Police.
“My car was ‘pinged’ for a second time while I was taking my documents to Rugby police station for the first offence.
“I brought my insurance up to date online the first time I got stopped.”
He said because the policy was once again paid for online, the change hadn’t shown up to police.
“I hold my hands up to it but it was a genuine mistake that I have accepted and dealt with,” said Cllr Humphrey. “The police have been clear that the offence I committed is not an indictable offence.”
Police will not release details of such incidents to the press.
Private Eye also reported Cllr Humphrey falsely claimed to be on holiday when the magazine tried unsuccessfully to contact him.
Cllr Humphrey said: “I refuse to speak to Private Eye.
“What they print is a load of rubbish. The magazine is a comic.”