POLITICAL rivals have called on a disgraced councillor to resign following his conviction for misconduct in a public office.

Middlesbrough councillor Jon Rathmell pleaded guilty to the charge this morning when he appeared at Teesside Crown Court.

The offence related to an “abuse of public trust” in public office linked to Nunthorpe Community Council in 2018 and 2019.

The misrepresentation of emails and a misrepresented and delayed payment of £1,500 for fireworks were part of the charge.

The Northern Echo: Cllr Jon RathmellCllr Jon Rathmell

Now Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Simon Clarke and Middlesbrough Council's conservative member for Nunthorpe, Cllr Mieka Smiles, have called on him to resign.

The Conservative MP said: "It is desperately disappointing that Jon Rathmell has now pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office.

"There is no doubt in mind that he is no longer a fit and proper person to sit as a councillor, and I hope he will now resign ahead of sentencing so that Nunthorpe residents can select a new representative as swiftly as possible.”

Cllr Smiles added: "Jon Rathmell has pleaded guilty to a very serious charge with the victims being Nunthorpe residents.

"Police said Rathmell 'has been proven to have told many lies to try to cover up his crimes'.

"This clearly makes his position as councillor for Nunthorpe and Middlesbrough absolutely untenable and he should now resign immediately.

"Nunthorpe and Middlesbrough residents deserve so much better than this."

The 42-year-old, of Mallowdale, Nunthorpe, will be sentenced at Teesside Crown Court next month.

The charge relates to a firework display organised by Nunthorpe Community Council.