Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Bad losers Labour and their Kangaroo Court

A press statement from Redcar Labour Party claiming that the Lib Dem Councillors for Zetland Ward, Ron Harrison and Jim Rogers, who were forced by Labour to resign their seats because they worked for a foundation school, were incompetent is disgraceful. 

Ron and Jim did everything correctly and acted in good faith. They included their place of work on the forms and their nomination papers were validated by officers of the Labour controlled Council.

It was not until three months after the election that bad losers Labour began their campaign to get Ron and Jim out. They started on the very day the Council was debating a Lib Dem motion to abandon the "vertical pier." This prevented Ron and Jim voting for the motion which could have gone either way. This was the first and only time that Councillors had the opportunity to vote on the "vertical pier."

Labour’s campaign to get them out threatened them with tens of thousands of unaffordable legal costs. Labour even held their own Kangaroo Court in the Town Hall after first wasting thousands of pounds of public money obtaining legal advice when the Council has its own lawyers on the staff. Why did they need specialist legal advice if the issue was clear as they claim in their press release?

It’s a legal minefield. No-one should need to plough through masses of legal red tape before standing for the Council. Any legal doubt about disbarring people who work in foundation schools like Ron Harrison and Jim Rogers did from being councillors needs clearing up. To clear the air once and for all, Ian Swales MP has promised to raise the matter in Parliament.

On the doorstep we have found that local residents can’t understand why two well-respected local people have been forced to resign from the Council and cause a by-election.

Labour's accusations are unfair. It was Labour who spent public money on legal advice and it was Council officials who issued letters of validation when Ron and Jim's nominations were submitted.

Labour ignored public opinion and just ploughed on with the "vertical pier" regardless of what local people wanted. And then when the Lib Dems soundly defeated Labour in Zetland Ward they could not stand it. They stumbled on an obscure loophole in the law, that may or may not prevent teachers at foundation schools from becoming Councillors and used bully boy tactics in Kangaroo Courts to force a re-run of the election in the Ward. They don't deserve to win and we are determined to make sure that they don't win.

No comments: