HC Deb 23 March 1971 vol 814 cc81-2W
32. Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Attorney-General why Alderman Peter Ross, a Justice of the Peace for Worthing, was invited to refrain from sitting in court until the end of this year; and whether this reason will prevent him from sitting in 1972.

The Attorney-General

Alderman Peter Ross, a Justice of the Peace for Worthing, was invited by my noble Friend to refrain from sitting on the bench during 1971 because of a statement which he made in December, 1970, at the time of the electricity workers' work to rule. In the course of his statement Alderman Ross said: "I am going to deduct money from my bill because I think it is a loss of amenity. And I shall sit in court and judge myself". This statement attracted considerable publicity and Alderman Ross's dismissal was requested by the Worthing Trades Council.

In reply to my noble Friend's inquiries, Alderman Ross frankly admitted that he had made these remarks for which he apologised, recognising that they were incompatible with his position as a magistrate. Alderman Ross retracted his remarks unreservedly and issued a statement to this effect which has been published in the Worthing Herald for 19th February, 1971.

In the circumstances my noble Friend decided that he would not ask Alderman Ross to resign but he invited him to refrain from sitting during this year. It is my noble Friend's intention to permit Alderman Ross to resume his place on the Worthing Bench in 1972.