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Taxi driver suspended after kissing his daughters goodbye at school gate

'The past six days have been the worst since my father died 35 years ago,' Tony Kemp says

A North Yorkshire taxi driver was suspended for six days after apparently being reported for kissing his daughters goodbye at the school gate.

Tony Kemp, 60, from Kirkbymoorside, normally operates as school-run taxi driver but said a council official called to inform him he was not permitted to transport children to school on Thursday and was suspended with immediate effect.

The 60-year-old told the York Press he was told “an allegation had been made against him, but he could be given no more details”.

He said he only realised what had happened after a colleague told him it was well known a man had been suspended after someone reported a him kissing and cuddling two girls outside Pickering Junior School.

Mr Kemp takes children from villages on the Moors to school in his taxi, and his daughters are taken to school by their mother.

After splitting up with his wife, his daughters, aged nine and 11, “always look out for me and run up for a hug and a kiss me when they see me arrive with the car,” he told the local newspaper.

He said a member of the public must have misinterpreted what they had seen and reported him.

The private-hire taxi driver said: “The past six days have been the worst of my life, since my father died 35 years ago.

“I’m personally devastated at the allegation aimed at me."

Mr Kemp also said he had lost “hundreds of pounds worth of business”, but that he was most upset that his “good reputation... built up over the past 12 years has been shattered”.

He added he was worried about the repercussions of the accusations and how it might affect his work when he returned on Wednesday.

He was later interviewed by the council and the charges were dropped.

A spokeswoman for the North Yorkshire County Council  said: “We have followed the Child Protection Procedures. This matter has now been investigated and found to be false.”


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