Below is an emailed response from Councillor Terry Wilkins regarding the recent allegations made against him:
Yesterday I was shocked to discover that I have been the victim of an elaborate and malicious hoax over the awarding of the MBE. I was informed that I had been awarded an MBE in 1995 while working in the Metropolitan police service.
At the time I had no reason to question the validity of the correspondence and, as my late wife and I decided not to attend the investiture at Buckingham Palace, was subsequently sent a medal in the post. At the time I was embarrassed at receiving the honour and put the medal in a drawer along with my long service medal. It was not until recently that my present wife suggested that I should acknowledge the honour.
The hoax came to light this week when you were contacted by a small number of local residents who had decided to launch an investigation into the awarding of the honour. Although I had previously had no reason to suspect that the award was not genuine, as soon as I was contacted by you I became concerned that I might have been the victim of a malicious act by a former colleague.
I spent most of yesterday contacting former colleagues only to discover that my worst fears were true and that an aggrieved ex colleague had set out to deceive me. I don’t know why I did not question the official correspondence that I received at the time. Probably because I was overcome with feelings of pride and kudos.
I asked my ex-colleagues why I wasn’t told the truth either at the time or afterwards and it seems that people and time moving on meant that it was lost in the ether. The fact that this hoax has gone on for 19 years has come as a huge shock to both me and my wife. As I said earlier, I have not used the honour for personal gain .
I would like to apologise unreservedly to anyone who I may have unwittingly mislead in the past. I shall be removing all mention of the award on stationery and email addresses immediately.
Terry Wilkins CC
Cornwall Councillor for Illogan