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Tory councillor falsely claims he has MBE
Updated 10:44am Friday 25th April 2014 in News
Conservative councillor for Illogan Terry Wilkins has been outed as falsly claiming he was awarded an MBE.
Mr Wilkins is facing calls to step down over the false claim, however he has defiantly said he was not considering resigning, saying he was the victim of an "elaborate and malicious hoax", by an “aggrieved ex-colleague”.
The Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood has said it had no record him receiving the honour, saying: ""Despite a search we can find no trace of any living person with the name Terence (or Terry, Terrence or Terrance) E Wilkins having received an MBE or any other British honour for which we hold records."
Mr Wilkins has blamed a hoax by a former colleague for the 'unwitting' mistake, adding he had received an official looking letter confirming the award and a medal while a special constable with the Metropolitan Police in London.
He did not attend any ceremony as he was "embarassed" at the time.
Mr Wilkins, a Cornwall councillor since 2009, has been using the title MBE in emails and his profile on the Cornwall Council included the false claim, until today.
Questions have also been asked about a second false claim that he had a degree pending from the Open University. Mr Wilkins has now admitted that the "pending" degree in Health and Wellness was also a fiction.
Blaming this on "playing a game" with a person he wanted to "embarrass", but who he has refused to name, he told the BBC: "I am completely innocent."
Among those calling for him to stand down is Stephen Richardson, of Mebyon Kernow, who is also an Illogan parish councillor.
He told the BBC that people have been misled by him claiming to be an MBE, adding that Mr Wilkins was "not a suitable person to represent Illogan".
Mr Wilkins has sent a statement to all councillors and has "profusely apologised for unwittingly causing any embarrassment".
Cornwall Conservative Party is investigating the issue, with Conservative group leader at the authority, Fiona Ferguson, saying there was "very understandable public concern".
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