Former SSDC leader may lose honour

Ric Pallister, Leader of South Somerset District Council (SSDC), may be stripped of his OBE. Pallister served SSDC as a councillor for 18 years and as Leader of the council for 7. He retired as Leader in 2016.

In 2021 he was accused of a range of offences against women including inappropriate touching and forcibly kissing on the mouth. The offences occurred over a period of 21 years.

Four women came forward to make the accusations.

A number of prominent female LibDem councillors served alongside Pallister, including Cllr Val Keitch (who succeeded him as Leader), Cllr Jo Roundel Green ( who also stood for the LibDems in a General Election in Yeovil) and Somerton & Frome by-election candidate Sarah Dyke.

However Pallister appears not to have picked on female colleagues. Instead his victims included teenage girls and women who were not in a position to challenge him or fight back.

The charges against Pallister apparently came as a complete surprise. No-one in the party was aware of any wrongdoing by him at the time of his arrest.

He was convicted on 18 charges by a jury at Taunton Crown Court and sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Now The Leveller understands that consideration is being given to strip him of his OBE.

There is a formal procedure to strip someone of an honour. After investigation, a recommendation is made to the Forfeiture Committee. That committee reviews the case and the evidence.

If it is concluded that an individual is to be stripped of an honour then a notice will be published in the London Gazette.

The process to consider stripping Pallister of an honour is now underway. A decision is expected in the next couple of months.


  • It would be absolutely disgusting if he is not striped of honuers

  • Leveller. Your article is justifiable, just.
    BUT, just a day before a crucial Somerset by-election?!
    It could be viewed that you have an agenda…or maybe just an unfortunate coincidence.

    • Or maybe our Editor is thinking of LibDem attitudes (and from where I sit, honesty) locally, be it 2020’s Chard, be it SSDC and pigs, vinyards and payoffs over the past two or three years.

  • I complained to a Councillor about what I considered to be Pallister’s over-familiar behaviour, which would never have been tolerated in my own workplace, towards a couple of women which I witnessed at a South Somerset District Council meeting just before lockdown in 2020. I was told ‘That’s just Ric’. In the light of this, I personally find it difficult to believe that the LibDems and others were not aware or had no concerns about Pallister’s inappropriate conduct. The offences for which he was jailed were the result of 4 women being very brave in coming forward and reliving the trauma of his actions to testify against him, but my own suspicion is that the pattern of behaviour he exhibited towards them did not constitute isolated offences. Unless more evidence comes to light, we shall not know.

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