Isle of Wight Tories are calling on the chair of the licensing sub-committee to stand down due to ongoing criminal charges against him.

And in another move, they have asked Isle of Wight Council chair Claire Critchison to withdraw an invitation to Cllr Daryll Pitcher to a reception tonight (Wednesday).

Cllr Pitcher is facing charges of child rape and sexual assault more than 30 years ago, when he was himself a minor.

It is believed Cllr Pitcher is intending to plead not guilty to the charges.

Former Conservative group leader, Cllr Steve Hastings, one of the other members of the licensing sub-committee, has written to Cllr Pitcher, asking him to stand down.

He says in the e-mail that one of the objectives of the Licensing Act 2003 is for applications to protect children from harm.

While acknowledging Cllr Pitcher has not been found guilty and intends to plead not guilty, Cllr Hastings believes it is not in the best interest of the council for him to continue as chair.

Friday’s meeting will consider an application for extended entertainment hours at Thorness Bay Holiday Park.

Cllr Hastings says in the email that if Cllr Pitcher does not stand aside, he and other Tories would not attend the meeting. It is possible other members of the council could take the place of the Tory members.

The Tory members of the licensing committee are Micheal Beston, Clare Mosdell, Gary Peace and Peter Spink.

In an email seen by the County Press, Cllr Critchison has been asked by Conservative group leader Cllr Joe Robertson to think again about inviting him to tonight's reception to announce her charity of the year.

The charity is said to involve children and young women and is said to be supported by the Diocese of Portsmouth and the Hampshire and IW Police and Crime Commissioner.

Again, while making no assumptions about Cllr Pitcher’s guilt, Cllr Robertson says it is accepted practice that elected representatives who have been charged with serious crimes step aside from such public-facing functions and meetings while awaiting trial.

He told Cllr Critchison: “Cllr Pitcher has so far shown little intention to do so and by issuing this invitation to him you are actively encouraging him.”

Both Cllr Pitcher and Cllr Critchison were invited to respond but failed to do so.