CONVICTED criminal Tony Ramsden is facing calls to resign from his new post leading a key business association.

As the Daily Echo reported yesterday, Mr Ramsden has been elected chairman of a local branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) – despite being jailed for 10 months last year for dishonesty.

Poole mayor Cllr Phil Eades told the Daily Echo that Mr Ramsden should resign his post with the federation’s Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch branch.

“I couldn’t believe he had the brass neck to put himself forward,” said Cllr Eades.

“He needs to resign. People in the small business community need to have no more to do with this organisation while he’s part of it.”

Planning consultant Mr Ramsden was convicted by a jury last September of obtaining credit as an undisclosed bankrupt. He also pleaded guilty to five offences under the Insolvency Act.

Mr Ramsden, who has been bankrupted three times, was described by a judge as “a liability in business”.

He was disqualified as a company director for six years.

Ken Park, of Ken Parke Planning Consultants in Winton, has said he was “speechless” at Mr Ramsden’s election.

And Lauren Tompkins, who opened the craft shop Create It All at Southbourne six months ago, said she now wanted to resign her membership of the FSB.

She said: “I was flabbergasted. When you go into business, you need people who you can trust. How can you trust an organisation that’s designed for small businesses when the chairman is somebody who’s been put in jail and been bankrupted three times?”

Mr Ramsden ran the consultancy Planning Solutions before his imprisonment last year. From 1999-2003, he was a Conservative councillor for Talbot and Branksome Woods.

His father, David, is secretary of the FSB’s Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch branch and the federation’s national chairman on tax and economic affairs. He has also been bankrupted.

Tony Ramsden said yesterday: “I have no comment to make.”

The Wessex Region of the FSB had not commented at the time of going to press.