AddThis SmartLayers

Reporter’s book unearths city’s scandals

A daily newspaper reporter has written a new book charting some of the most notorious scandals on his paper’s patch.

Hull Daily Mail reporter Angus Young has penned Scandals! Rogues, Rascals and Infamy in Hull and East Yorkshire.

The book features stories about bribery, corruption, political cover-ups, personal bust-ups and dramatic court cases over the last 150 years.

Angus, who is the Mail’s long-serving local government reporter, said the idea for the book came during his research on two previous books documenting some of Hull’s best-known murder cases.

One of the stories tells of the scandal surrounding former Lord Mayor Digby Willoughby.

Said Angus: “I have covered many high-profile stories involving Hull City Council over the years but none probably come close to events surrounding Digby Willoughby.”

Digby Willoughby was one of Hull’s most controversial politicians for nearly two decades. To many he was the council and at one time or another sat on every one of its committee.

Angus’ book reveals that it was the way the former mayor manipulated his power that ultimately proved to be his undoing.

Allegations over a series of suspicious land deals involving councillors eventually prompted a government inquiry after it was found that he had joined forces with a fellow councillor, Frank Finn, to buy land.

At the time he claimed he was only acting as a middle man in the deals but he was actually the buyer and tried to re-sell the land to at an inflated price to a consortium of local builders.

Before the inquiry had started he was found dead in a hotel room in Scotland after gassing himself.

Said Angus: “There is little doubt that Willoughby was passionate about Hull and that he played a significant role in the expansion of the city in the early decades of the 20th century when the power and influence of local government in the form of the Hull Corporation was at its height.

“However, as in similar scandals, that same heady cocktail of power and influence also proved to be his downfall.

“For some it inspires greatness, with Willoughby it triggered greed, manipulation and ultimately corruption.”

Scandals! Rogues, Rascals and Infamy in Hull and East Yorkshire is published by Highgate of Beverley and costs £10.50.