A FORMER Hillingdon councillor has been charged with taking part in oral sex in a South Harrow toilet with another man.
Robert Benson, 41, of Stanmore, who represented Northwood ward from 1998 to 2002 before moving to Harrow Council in 2006, appeared at Harrow Magistrates' Court accused of one count of sexual activity in a public lavatory.
The Conservative councillor was arrested by Rayners Lane Safer Neighbourhood Team on suspicion of gross indecency at 3.45pm on Wednesday, June 25 in Rayners Lane public toilets in Rayners Lane, South Harrow, along with a second man, a 56-year-old from South Woodford, Essex.
Both men were given police bail to return to a north London police station on July 8. When they did, Mr Benson was charged and the Essex man was cautioned.
The councillor appeared before magistrates in Harrow on Thursday, July 17 but did not enter a plea, and the case was adjourned to Wimbledon Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, July 30.
Mr Benson, who could not be contacted for comment, is a backbench Harrow councillor who sits on numerous committees, including the two planning ones.
Harrow Council leader David Ashton (Conservative) said: "Firstly, this is a matter for the courts and I cannot comment further.
"Secondly, as Conservative group leader, I have suspended Councillor Benson from the group.
"If somebody is charged with a criminal offence, they are suspended as part of our standard procedure."
This means Mr Benson remains a councillor, but not a Conservative one.