Conservatives refuse to speak over “reckless” solicitor standing for Dacorum Borough Council in Nash Mills

Conservatives have put up a wall of silence following revelations about one of their council candidates for next month’s elections.

Wednesday, 10th April 2019, 10:39 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th April 2019, 10:42 am

Rene Leonard Neville De Silva is hoping to be elected to Dacorum Borough Council next month.

But it has emerged that Mr De Silva was fined £12,500 last year for his role in “misappropriating client money” in his job as a partner in a solicitors firm.

Mr De Silva this week declined to comment to the Gazette, and the local party leadership were not available for comment.

However the Gazette understands that it is now too late for Mr De Silva to withdraw his candidacy or for the Conservative Party to take his name off the ballot.

Mr De Silva, who lives in Kings Langley, is one of four candidates for the Nash Mills seat.

He has sat on Kings Langley Parish Council since 2015, and his election leaflets promise he will “exert proper influence” if he is elected.

The case which has caused the controversy relates to Mr De Silva’s position with Marks & Marks, a firm of solicitors based in Harrow.

The tribunal was brought by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT), and took place in March 2018.

Along with his colleagues – owner Liaqat Hussain and associate solicitor Amara Kayani – Mr De Silva admitted breaching four Solicitors Regulation Authority principles, along with the accounts rules, by making or allowing the improper transfers.

They also admitted failing to carry out proper reconciliations, failing to give or send bills of costs before withdrawing money from client account and recklessness.

The tribunal’s decision said that Mr De Silva and his colleagues had “turned a blind eye to risk,” and added that they “had clearly been reckless”.

However, none of the three were accused of dishonesty.

The other people standing for election in Nash Mills are Liberal Democrat candidate Alex Bell, Labour’s Paul Gronert, and Independent candidate Jan Maddern.