A senior councillor has said a leak of flirty emails he sent to a junior colleague cost him work and his home.

Darren Clifford was reprimanded by Lancaster City Council for sending emails to another employee in 2017, which were leaked to a national newspaper.

The authority continues to investigate who leaked the emails, a meeting heard.

Three councillors have been sanctioned after a report into their response to the investigation was made public.

Speaking after Wednesday's meeting, Mr Clifford, 48, the Labour cabinet member for tourism, said the leak damaged his reputation to the extent it cost him a job opportunity and he lost his home because he was unable to pay his mortgage.

He accepted using IT inappropriately and said he was not seeking sympathy but had been left "sad" that someone "with low moral standards" leaked the emails for "short-term political gain".

The Daily Mail reported the emails contained innuendo, including Mr Clifford telling the woman: "I'll help you work off a few pounds if you like."

The report stated three Conservative councillors - Peter Yates, Andrew Gardiner and John Wild - had brought the council into disrepute but there was no suggestion they leaked the correspondence.

However, a standards committee hearing held last month found Mr Yates misled officers by providing inconsistent accounts of his whereabouts when the leak took place. He has been removed from the standards committee.

Despite the committee's findings, Mr Yates said he was "totally innocent" and had simply made a mistake.

The hearing formally censured Mr Gardiner after finding he had misled officers and intimidated a member of staff involved in the investigation.

He maintained his innocence and described the report, which cost £4,500, as a waste of taxpayers' money.

The standards committee censured Mr Wild, saying he tried to get hold of sensitive information to pass on to members of the public and bullied a member of staff.

Mr Wild denied the allegations and said he was disappointed with how the investigation was handled.

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