Lazy drain cleaners escaped censure for sleeping on duty after party politics split the Provisional Urban Council yesterday. The council yesterday vetoed a call by its inquiry committee to reprimand the lazy staff, despite substantial evidence during an eight-month hearing. Opponents said the council should wait for the results of investigations by the Government or the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) before deciding the next step. The council was discussing the inquiry report of lazy sewer workers responsible for clearing drains in Kowloon. The inquiry report, released last week, found all three teams of drain cleaners had 'seriously deviated' from job procedures for at least 18 months. The report suggested reprimanding the staff and their supervisors and called in the Civil Service Bureau and ICAC investigators. Councillor Wong Kwok-hing, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, opposed censure. 'Even if we reprimand them today, it does not mean that the problem of lazy staff can be solved right away,' he said. Alliance colleague Christopher Chung Shu-kan said councillors should wait until formal investigations had finished. Democrat Wong Chung-ki said the inquiry report should not be undermined by party politics. 'There was substantial evidence to show the staff did not follow job procedure,' he said. Council chairman Dr Ronald Leung Ding-bong cast his vote to veto the censure, after a 17-17 vote. But councillors endorsed a call to write to commend Lo Pui-lam, who tipped off councillors.