THE two men now in charge of Wrexham Council have given their full backing to the authority’s former leader who is at the centre of a police investigation into the circumstances surrounding his election to the Welsh Assembly.

Earlier this week Aled Roberts was disqualified from taking up the North Wales seat he won for the Liberal Democrats at the recent election when it was discovered that, at the time of his election, he was still a member of the Valuation Tribunal for Wales.

A complaint from Wales MEP John Bufton has sparked an investigation by North Wales Police.

Following the election, Cllr Roberts stood down from the leadership of the council and, last Wednesday, his place was taken by veteran Liberal Democrat member for Little Acton, Ron Davies, with Johnstown Independent councillor, David Bithell, becoming deputy leader.

In an exclusive interview with the Leader, both men voiced their strong support for Cllr Roberts.

Cllr Davies said: “I am very disappointed at what is happening to him. I had mixed feelings when he left the leadership but I believe he will make a superb ambassador for North Wales in Cardiff.

“The present situation is down to a technicality and is political. The sooner this is resolved the better. I give my wholehearted support to Aled.”

Cllr Bithell added: “I have worked with Aled for seven years and know he is a man of integrity.

“It is clear that what he is said to have done wasn’t done on purpose because he is very professional in what he does.

“It would be tragic for North Wales if he wasn’t able to take his seat in the Assembly.”

lTHE deputy leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats has defended former Wrexham Council Leader Aled Roberts.

Roger Williams said Mr Roberts and fellow Lib-Dem member John Dixon had paid the price for misinformation on the assembly website.

Mr Williams said he hoped a motion to reinstate both the disqualified AMs would be passed.