#Antisemitism. We lodged a well-founded Standards Complaint against Tory & Independent Wirral Councillors. Here’s the outcome – it won’t be investigated

Our pinned tweet – at the top of our @Wirral_in_it Twitter timeline


Bear with us, please. This is long and very involved… but to cover this properly, we have to do it justice…

The background

On 4th March 2019 there was a Wirral Council Budget meeting, which was broadcast live by the council.

Crucially, check out our earlier posts of 31st March, 12th March and 7th March 2019 to get yourselves right up to date on the full details of what occurred at this budget meeting. No national mainstream media organisation has reported the antisemitism aspect. The local media reported this as a budget meeting, oh, and by the way, there was a walk-out by the Tories. There was no mention of Tory party antisemitism. All antisemitism references were carefully and specifically attributed to Jewish Councillor Jo Bird:

31st March 2019

Wirral Tory / Independent antisemitism? Not reported in newspapers or media

12th March 2019

https://wirralinittogether.blog/2019/03/12/wirral-tories-embargo-jewish-councillor-as-she-speaks-about-her-familys-persecution-in-the-holocaust/

7th March 2019

https://wirralinittogether.blog/2019/03/07/as-the-feigned-anti-semitism-campaign-targets-its-outrage-locally-are-wirrals-tories-being-genuinely-anti-semitic/


Standards Complaint lodged on 31st March 2019

As readers know, this blog is now well into its eighth year.  A long time ago we took up an invitation, one that’s often issued to the watching public by local, paid politicians.

It’s where they beseech us to become engaged in local politics and to put something back. Sometimes they’ll openly criticise the people who voted for them because they are not ‘doing their bit’.

They always carefully omit to mention that any involvement by the public must be under their guidance and on their terms.

So not wishing to be controlled, monitored, drip-fed and managed, we’ve been doing it independently and under our own steam.

In the spirit of co-operation and robust enquiry, we lodged a Standards complaint on 31st March 2019 – made under the Members’ Code of Conduct – against three Wirral Councillors; Ian Lewis (Tory leader), Moira McLaughlin (Independent, former Labour) and Chris Meaden (Independent, former Labour).

It involved what we believe may be perceived as a potential hate-crime – antisemitism.

Here they are:

antisemitism standards complaint lewis mclaughlin meaden


Left to right, Lewis, McLaughlin, Meaden

Following the May local elections, Meaden is no longer drawing any public allowance, and as far as public life is concerned, has faded into history.

The alleged crime of antisemitism is connected to the following Council budget meeting of 4th March 2019:

[COUNCIL VIDEO]

https://wirral.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/406578


Here’s the detailed Standards Complaint we lodged on 31st March 2019 (continue to scroll down for a more readable version of its contents):

Wirral council standards complaint lewis mclaughlin meaden

For anyone struggling with the size of text, here’s the main body of the complaint.  For emphasis, we’ve emboldened the important, underlined sections above:

—————————————————————————————

The incident occurred at the Council Budget meeting of 4th March 2019.
At [01:21:50] in the Council Broadcast, when Councillor Jo Bird was due to speak, Councillor Lewis intervened.

ian lewis interruption of Jo Bird's speech

He stated that he wished to raise a motion – under Council Standing Order Section 12(13) – that “a member be not heard”. Without asking for assistance, Mayor Watt’s first reaction was to put the motion to a show of hands.

Standing order 12, 13, Wirral Council

Upon checking Standing Order Section 12(13), I noted that it had been written with the intention of quelling unruly or outrageous councillor behaviour occurring at the current meeting. Because Councillor Jo Bird had been suspended by her party following an incident in May 2017, and had not caused any problems at the current meeting, I therefore believe that Councillor Lewis’ action was dishonest. I also suspect Councillor Lewis knew the likely outcome of any vote beforehand – and that it would be unlikely to succeed. The key words Councillor Lewis used here are quoted within the Standing Order and are, “I move that a member be not heard.” In this case it is inappropriate and appears to be the unjustified removal of a councillor’s freedom of speech and her ability to represent and discharge the wishes of her constituents’ within the council chamber.

To quote Section 15 of the Standing Orders (Disorderly Conduct), nowhere during this Council Budget meeting did the intended target of Ian Lewis’ motion – Jewish Councillor Jo Bird – “misconduct herself, persistently disregard the ruling of the Mayor or behave irregularly, improperly or wilfully obstruct the business of the council, such that her continued presence at the meeting could not reasonably be tolerated”.


I believe, despite Liberal Democrat Councillor Phil Gilchrist’s intervention, [see 01:22:19 to 01:25:13 of council broadcast] that the Conservative Mayor, Councillor Geoffrey Watt and his legal adviser – the Director of Law and Monitoring Officer Mr Philip McCourt – made a gross error of judgment in permitting this motion and the subsequent vote to go ahead. Not least, Philip McCourt whose specific failing was to place the decision “in the gift of the Mayor”, a Mayor whom despite his impartial standing is a member of the Conservative Party.

Because Ian Lewis’s…

o knowledge or reasonable knowledge that Councillor Jo Bird was a Jewish councillor
o action in raising this completely inappropriate motion would be “using a sledgehammer to crack a nut”
o awareness of the likelihood that the vote would most likely fail
o party would most likely be provided with the opportunity to vacate the chamber

… suggesting Councillor Ian Lewis was both discriminatory and anti-Semitic.
I do not know for certain, but I suspect that never before will this motion have been used to silence a councillor, except in situations that may require it, i.e. unruly, irregular, improper, offensive behaviour – occurring at the actual meeting – which obstructs the business of the council or disregards the authority of the Mayor.

In this case, there was no unruly, irregular, improper or offensive behaviour consistent with Standing Order 15 / Section 12(13) at the actual meeting and in addition, the “anti-Semitism” charges that were brought against Councillor Jo Bird have since been found to be without foundation.
————————————————————————————–

Independent Councillor Moira McLaughlin and Independent Councillor Chris Meaden.

The incident occurred at the Council Budget meeting of 4th March 2019.

The incident is connected to the motion raised by Councillor Ian Lewis and the vote which failed as follows: 22 votes for, 39 votes against and 1 abstention.

When Councillor Jo Bird was granted permission to speak by Mayor Geoffrey Watt, a large number of Tory councillors rose to their feet and began to file out of the chamber. As witnessed on the Council broadcast, a number had passed the location of Councillor Bird while she was speaking. The Council broadcast camera cut away to show Mayor Geoffrey Watt calling for a brief adjournment “while some members leave.”

Councillor Jo Bird resumed speaking and continued as follows, “…thank you, it is unfortunate that the Conservative members have chosen to leave, thereby depriving their own residents of their voice in this chamber. And I’d like to address everybody, fellow councillors and residents of Wirral. I nip out during the Christian prayers here partly because I’m Jewish. My great-grandparents were refugees from ethnic cleansing
and fascism in Europe. My grandfather never knew his cousins because they perished in the Holocaust. I know from lived experience…”

At this moment, which was between [01:31:54 and 01:31:56] in the broadcast, and in full earshot of Jo Bird’s words regarding her family’s persecution during the Holocaust, Independent Councillors Chris Meaden and Moira McLaughlin can be seen walking past and out of the chamber.

It is my contention that to not heed Councillor Jo Bird’s sincere and moving words and to continue to walk out of the chamber is a strong indication that the two councillors’ actions reveal an astounding lack of respect and suggest them to be anti-Semitic.
————————————————————————————–

*sharp-eyed readers will notice I mixed up my Standing Order 12(13)s with my Standing Order 15s

A few days later, we received the following response:

Letter to Mr P Cardin 3rd April 2019 from Vicki Shaw, Acting Senior Manager Legal and Committee Services and Deputy Monitoring Officer

antisemitism standards complaint vicki shaw wirral counci 3rd April 2019 response


Relevant documents

Wirral Council Members’ Code of Conduct

https://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/documents/s50038393/Part5MembersCodeofConduct.doc.pdf

Wirral Council Protocol for dealing with allegations under the Members’ Code of Conduct

https://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/documents/s50018253/Appendix%204%20ATT409412.pdf


5th April 2019

Upon reading these documents, we had some further enquiries to make.  We sent the following email to Vicki Shaw today:

05 04 19 - email 1 to Vicki Shaw at Wirral Council

Vicki Shaw responded very quickly as follows:

05 04 19 - email 1 from Vicki Shaw at Wirral Council


Upon noticing a discrepancy here, the fact that Wirral Council were picking, choosing and following whichever Central Government guidance suited them, we responded with the following:

05 04 19 - email 2 to Vicki Shaw at Wirral Council


We’re fully aware that Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights enshrines freedom of expression for all citizens, along with the right to receive and impart information. 

Ms Shaw made no reference to these rights in any of her correspondence. Readers will notice that highly selective Ms Shaw, in line with abnormal Wirral Council culture, chooses which points to accept and ‘address’ and which points to reject.

We now had to decide whether to:

a. willingly surrender our Article 10 rights in order to accommodate a council that in publishing its newspaper Wirral View had breached Central Government guidelines on 30 separate occasions at the time of writing, or;

b. go ahead and publish

…with a heavy heart, we relented and didn’t tweet or publish anything at all until today.


Where the official facilitation of the alleged crime of antisemitism is concerned, the crux of what Councillor Gilchrist suggests at [01:22:29] – prior to the vote – is important here:

“My recollection without looking at the Standing Order is that for a member to be not heard, they actually have to do something outrageous in this chamber or address the council in a particular manner.  Councillor Bird has apparently made statements at a meeting somewhere else in the country which have received considerable attention for their offensive nature in the last few hours.  Nothing however’s been said specifically in this chamber and on that basis I want to hear Mr McCourt’s advice on the exact interpretation of this Standing Order.”

Well spotted Councillor Gilchrist. You hit the nail on the head.

Sadly, Vicki Shaw in her “preliminary assessment and evaluation” appeared to relegate / downgrade this crucial element when arriving at her convenient “no case to answer” verdict before closing the case without any further investigation (see below).


 

The key here to Vicki Shaw’s failure (upon failure) is the portion of the video between [01:23:11] and [01:24:15]. Here, Monitoring Officer Philip McCourt – who should have been aware of the danger of a potential criminal anti-semitism incident arising, actually disregarded the contents of Standing Order 15 / Section 12(13) and handed the baton to the Tory Mayor to make this important decision. Philip can be viewed stating… whether the member be not heard was “in the gift of the Mayor”.

It clearly was NOT in the gift of the Mayor to decide. Ignoring the provisions of Standing Order 15 was in our opinion, an action steeped in reckless, Tory Party bias.

Philip had already referred Mayor Watt to Standing Order 15 / Section 12(13) stating the direct opposite; that some sort of disruption by Councillor Jo Bird would have been required to justify a “freedom to speak ban”.

standing order 15 wirral council

What did Monitoring Officer Philip McCourt say? See [01:23:11]

“Members, there are two relevant Standing Orders.  There is a set of Standing Orders concerning disorderly conduct.  And as Councillor Gilchrist states, that relates though, directly to one of the motions that may be moved without notice which is that a member should not be further heard.  It is usually the case that that vote comes after some form of disturbance or disruption within the chamber, rather than simply denying a councillor a statement.  It is within the Mayor’s gift this evening to say that is a motion that’s not properly moved this time, or dispense with it by moving very quickly to the vote. That’s within the Mayor’s gift and we may wish to converse on that”.

How did Tory Mayor Watt respond? See [01:25:03]

“The Standing Order apparently is that the member be not heard. It’s nothing to do with disorderly conduct anywhere.  So if that has been properly proposed and seconded, I have to put it to the vote… (which appears to us to be both mealy-mouthed and nonsensical).


 

The Vicki Shaw decision(s)

  1. Councillor Ian Lewis (Antisemitism alleged, but not acknowledged as such – neither, as an alleged crime – by Head of Legal Ms Shaw in her decision).

antisemitism standards complaint vicki shaw wirral council 16th May 2019 decision


*See points 1 to 5, addressed below.

Again, should the above text be difficult to read, here’s a more readable version with underlined sections in bold:

Dear Mr Cardin

STANDARDS COMPLAINT

Further to my letter of 3 April 2019, I have now completed my initial assessment and
evaluation of the complaint you made against Councillor Lewis.

Under the Council’s protocol for dealing with complaints against members I must
determine how the complaint should be addressed. This can range from no action to
a full formal independent investigation.

As part of my assessment and evaluation I have had regard to the views of an
Independent Person. I have also had regard to the public interest and I have duly
considered all the relevant facts and issues that were raised.

The test in deciding whether or not there has been a breach of the code is objective:
would a reasonable person aware of all the material facts and ignoring all immaterial
factors consider that there has been a breach of the code?

The code of conduct only applies to the conduct of a member acting in an official
capacity and not at any other time. I have concluded that these allegations do fall
within the jurisdiction of the Code because Councillor Lewis was acting in his capacity
as a Councillor attending a Council meeting.

So far as material, the Code of Conduct provides as follows:

… General Obligations

1. When acting in
1.1 DO treat others with respect.
1.2 DO NOT conduct yourself in a manner which is contrary to the Council’s duty to
promote and maintain high standards of conduct of members.

Cllr Bird rose to speak in a debate about the budget and although she began by
speaking about her family history it would not be unreasonable for Members to expect that her speech would address budget issues which other Members may or may not wish to listen to.

As you have pointed out when Cllr Lewis rose and moved that Cllr Bird “be not heard”
under Standing Order 12 the Mayor initially proceeded straight to a vote but following
the intervention of Cllr Gilchrist sought advice from the Director of Governance and
Assurance. The initial advice given to Members by the Director was technically correct.
Whilst advice can be given by officers it is a matter for Members whether or not to
accept that advice. Under the Council’s Constitution the ruling of the Mayor in relation
to the interpretation of Standing Orders is final. The Director has, however, readily
accepted that he could have given stronger advice placing greater emphasis on the
link between Standing Order 12 and Standing Order 15 and indeed spoke immediately
to the Group Leaders at the close of the meeting and to Cllr Bird to relay this. Cllr Bird
had clearly not breached Standing Order 15 by behaving improperly or wilfully
obstructed the business of Council and the Mayor therefore should have been advised
more robustly to rule Cllr Lewis’ motion out of order.

Following the vote in relation to Cllr Lewis’ motion being lost the Conservative group
then walked out of the Council Chamber when Cllr Bird rose to speak. Whilst it may
be argued that Members getting up and leaving the Council Chamber while other
Members are speaking shows a lack of respect there are no Standing Orders within
the Council Constitution which prohibit Members from leaving the room during debates and it has been common custom and practice over many years for Members to leave and return to the Chamber during Council meetings including whilst other Members are speaking.

In considering whether there has been a failure to comply with paragraphs 1,1 and 1.2
of the Code of Conduct, I have had regard to Article 10 of the European Convention
on Human Rights. The right to freedom of expression is a crucially important right in a
democratic society and may only be interfered with where there are convincing and
compelling reasons within Article 10(2) justifying that interference. If the comments
amount to political expression then enhanced protection will apply. Article 10 protects
not only the substance of what is said, but also the form in which it is conveyed. In a
political context, the immoderate, offensive, exaggerated and aggressive may be
tolerated where it would not otherwise be. The Conservative Group took this action
because in their view they had to make a protest about Cllr Bird’s alleged antisemitic statements as reported in the press and her then suspension from the Labour Party.

The Courts have recognised that the term ‘political expression’ has a broad application
extending to all matters of public administration and public concern, including the
manner of performance of public duties by others and that politicians are subject to
wider limits of acceptable criticism and are expected to be more thick skinned and
tolerant to comment than ordinary citizens. Nevertheless, there are limits to what
amounts to acceptable public criticism such that the public interest in protecting an
individual’s private interests such as reputation must be weighed against open
discussion of matters, if the relevant comment was made or behaviour displayed by a
politician in political expression. Where the line is crossed is a matter which requires
an evaluative judgment involving a number of factors that have to be weighed together.
As the actions complained of took place at a meeting of the Council which is clearly a
place for political debate it is my view that the motion moved by Cllr Lewis and
behaviour displayed amounted to political expression and must be considered in that context.

Having carefully considered the facts and weighed all of the factors involved in this
matter it is my conclusion that the actions of Cllr Lewis did not on this occasion cross
the line and amount to a breach of the Members Code of Conduct. The Independent
Person agrees with my decision.

I have written to Cllr Lewis to inform him of my decision. Accordingly, I will now close
my file in respect of this matter.


 

2. Independent Councillors Moira McLaughlin and Chris Meaden.  (Antisemitism alleged, but not acknowledged as such – neither, as an alleged crime – by Head of Legal Ms Shaw in her decision).

antisemitism standards complaint vicki shaw wirral council 16th May 2019 decision2

*See point 6, addressed below.

And for easier reading, underlined sections in bold:

Dear Mr Cardin

STANDARDS COMPLAINT

Further to my letter of 3 April 2019, I have now completed my initial assessment and
evaluation of the complaint you made against Cllr McLaughlin and Cllr Meaden.
Under the Council’s protocol for dealing with complaints against members I must
determine how the complaint should be addressed. This can range from no action to
a full formal independent investigation.

As part of my assessment and evaluation I have had regard to the views of an
Independent Person. I have also had regard to the public interest and I have duly
considered all the relevant facts and issues that were raised.

The test in deciding whether or not there has been a breach of the code is objective:
would a reasonable person aware of all the material facts and ignoring all immaterial
factors consider that there has been a breach of the code?

The code of conduct only applies to the conduct of a member acting in an official
capacity and not at any other time. I have concluded that these allegations do fall
within the jurisdiction of the Code because Councillor McLaughlin and Councillor
Meaden were acting in their capacity as Councillors attending a Council meeting.
So far as material, the Code of Conduct provides as follows:

… General Obligations

1. When acting in your role as a member of the Council
1.1 DO treat others with respect.
1.2 DO NOT conduct yourself in a manner which is contrary to the Council’s duty to
promote and maintain high standards of conduct of members.

Whilst it may be argued that Members getting up and leaving the Council Chamber
while other Members are speaking shows a lack of respect there are no Standing
Orders within the Council Constitution which prohibit Members from leaving the room during debates and it has been common custom and practice over many years for Members to leave and return to the Chamber during Council meetings including whilst other Members are speaking.

Cllr Bird had risen to speak in a debate about the budget and although she began by
speaking about her family history it would not be unreasonable for Members to expect that her speech would move on to address budget issues which other Members may or may not wish to listen to.

In considering whether there has been a failure to comply with paragraphs 1,1 and 1.2
of the Code of Conduct, I have had regard to Article 10 of the European Convention
on Human Rights. The right to freedom of expression is a crucially important right in a
democratic society and may only be interfered with where there are convincing and
compelling reasons within Article 10(2) justifying that interference. If the comments
amount to political expression then enhanced protection will apply. Article 10 protects
not only the substance of what is said, but also the form in which it is conveyed. In a
political context, the immoderate, offensive, exaggerated and aggressive may be
tolerated where it would not otherwise be. In the days prior to the meeting it had been
reported in the press that Cllr Bird had allegedly made anti-Semitic statements and
had, at that point in time, been suspended from the Labour Party, a set of
circumstances which some other Members of the Council considered they had to
make a protest about.

The Courts have recognised that the term ‘political expression’ has a broad application
extending to all matters of public administration and public concern, including the
manner of performance of public duties by others and that politicians are subject to
wider limits of acceptable criticism and are expected to be more thick skinned and
tolerant to comment than ordinary citizens. Nevertheless, there are limits to what
amounts to acceptable public criticism such that the public interest in protecting an
individual’s private interests such as reputation must be weighed against open
discussion of matters, if the relevant comment was made or behaviour displayed by a
politician in political expression. Where the line is crossed is a matter which requires
an evaluative judgment involving a number of factors that have to be weighed together.
As the actions complained of took place at a meeting of the Council which is clearly a
place for political debate it is my view that the behaviour displayed amounted to
political expression and must be considered in that context.

Both Cllr McLaughlin and Cllr Meaden completely refute any accusation that their
behaviour was an indication that they hold any racists views or beliefs. Cllr McLaughlin
has pointed out that her views on racism of any kind were clearly set out in the speech she previously made to Council in the debate on the Notice of Motion condemning anti-Semitism, in which all elected members re-affirmed their support for the internationally recognised definition of anti-Semitism.

Having carefully considered the facts and weighed all of the factors involved in this
matter it is my conclusion that the actions of Cllr McLaughlin and Cllr Meaden in
leaving the Chamber during Cllr Bird’s speech did not amount to a breach of the
Members Code of Conduct. The Independent Person agrees with my decision.
I have written to Cllr McLaughlin and Cllr Meaden to inform them of my decision.

Accordingly, I will now close my file in respect of this matter.


Vicki Shaw, despite claiming to have carefully considered the facts and weighed all the factors involved, refers to antisemitism only once within her findings.  This is with regard to the behaviour of Jewish Councillor Jo Bird, who had long ago been cleared of antisemitism, and a long time before Vicki Shaw sat down to deliberate. Neither does Vicki Shaw acknowledge anywhere that we are dealing with an alleged crime.

Are we witnessing a. incompetence and / or b. politically biased conduct here on the part of Wirral Council Head of Legal, Vicki Shaw?

When viewed alongside Wirral Council’s proven hypocrisy with Wirral View, the rank dishonesty over the three marquees fiasco and their foolish non-compliance with a court order (see the three links below), our suspicions may very well be confirmed.

It would be interesting and hugely enlightening to discover whether Head of Legal Vicki Shaw has had any active involvement in these examples of repeated corporate dishonesty.

Has accountability for failure and due process been followed, or has it been prevented from holding sway as top people like Paul Satoor (former work colleague = Tory Jeff Green – see the above letterheads) manage to cling to their highly-paid positions?


Further links to Wirral Council incompetence / dishonesty in legal matters:

https://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/14648963.wirral-council-on-collision-course-with-government-as-controversial-newspaper-gets-the-go-ahead/

https://johnbrace.com/dj-hennessy-refers-to-traffic-chaosand-criticises-wirral-council-for-not-complying-with-a-court-order/

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/judge-slams-wirral-council-error-16245181


Points 1 to 6, addressed

  1. “Cllr Bird rose to speak in a debate about the budget and although she began by speaking about her family history it would not be unreasonable for Members to expect that her speech would address budget issues which other Members may or may not wish to listen to.” The precise subject of Councillor Bird’s “family history” – family members persecuted during the Holocaust – has been left unacknowledged and unaddressed by Wirral Head of Legal Vicki Shaw. Vicki appears to have made a conscious decision to downplay the historical importance of the subject matter in describing it as merely ‘family history’. She’s in a hole, but carries on digging by suggesting that Wirral Council members may or may not wish to listen to it.
  2. “Whilst it may be argued that Members getting up and leaving the Council Chamber while other Members are speaking shows a lack of respect there are no Standing Orders within the Council Constitution which prohibit Members from leaving the room during debates and it has been common custom and practice over many years for Members to leave and return to the Chamber during Council meetings including whilst other Members are speaking.” Here, Vicki continues to dig deeper as she conflates council members e.g. going to the toilet with members getting to their feet en masse and walking out as a Jewish member addresses them on her family members’ persecution during the Holocaust. Admittedly, Tory members were not to know the subject matter as they walked out. Only two council member could be seen to continue walking after the Holocaust was mentioned – Independent Party members Moira McLaghlin and Chris Meaden, hence the specific nature of this complaint.
  3. “The Conservative Group took this action because in their view they had to make a protest about Cllr Bird’s alleged antisemitic statements as reported in the press and her then suspension from the Labour Party.” Let’s take a studied step back here and put the shoe on the other foot. Amid the current, press and media-led witch hunt against Jeremy Corbyn and his anti-racist party – a description justified by being the only UK political party ever to raise and promote anti-racist legislation – the Labour Party would never get the chance to walk out en masse after reading something in the papers, because there is in our opinion a distinct absence of coverage of Tory Party antisemitism, which we all know exists. But it’s simply not media policy to get out there and report it. Furthermore, here’s alleged anti-semitic, right-wing Independent Councillor Moira McLaughlin imploring “You don’t believe everything you read in the newspapers, do you…?” This refers to the disability discrimination of her own Social Services Department – discovered when she was presiding member in July 2011.  That’s not an accusation we’ve just dreamt up. Disability discrimination was a finding uncovered by the independent, respected UK Equality and Human Rights Commission. Here’s a link to the official letter from Mike Smith, Chair of the Disabilities Committee – a letter which you can see Councillor McLaughlin was absolutely desperate to have concealed. An action for which I lodged a Standards complaint against her, but true to form, the whole thing was whitewashed. See here and here.you dont believe everything you read in the newspapers do you mclaughlin standards complainthttp://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/8788691.Watchdog_accuses_Wirral_Council_of_discrimination_against_disabled_people/
  4. “The motion moved by Cllr Lewis and behaviour displayed amounted to political expression and must be considered in that context.” The ‘political expression’ here was in breach of Wirral Council’s Standing Order 15, as explained previously in our original Standards complaint. The combined failure / bias of Philip McCourt and Mayor Geoffrey Watt respectively, the alleged crime of antisemitism (under the guise of Vicki Shaw’s ‘political expression’) to be facilitated inside the Wirral Council chamber on 4th March 2019.
  5. The Independent Person – whom it appears shall remain anonymous. We’ll be writing to Vicki to ask her to identify this person. If she fails to comply, we’ll place a Freedom of Information request at public expense, which would have been foreseeble and avoidable, but … this is Wirral. A public servant cannot hope to validate or corroborate an important decision such as this by referring to an unnamed outsider. The way things stand currently she could have dragged him in off the street.
  6. (See the McLaughlin / Meaden decision) Cllr McLaughlin has pointed out that her views on racism of any kind were clearly set out in the speech she previously made to Council in the debate on the Notice of Motion condemning anti-Semitism, in which all elected members re-affirmed their support for the internationally recognised definition of anti-Semitism.  Councillor McLaughlin can be seen [01:31:56] walking out of the Wirral Council chamber directly after Councillor Jo Bird mentions her family members’ persecution during the Holocaust. She ignored Jo’s deeply moving words on this dark period in the history of the Jewish people. This very regrettable action (and her colleague Councillor Meaden’s identical action) is the starkest indication of the alleged antisemitism I am reporting, occurring on 4th March 2019 in the Wirral Council chamber. Despite her claim to the contrary with Vicki Shaw’s decision, Councillor McLaughlin’s behaviour on this day clearly supports the proven maxim, “Actions speak louder than words”.

wirral independent councillor mclaughlin walks out during jo birds speech about the holocaust

Christian prayers prior to the meeting

Wirral Council Christian Prayer – spoken by the Civic Mayor’s Chaplain, Reverend David Chester at the above Council meeting of 4th March 2019.

We wonder if the vicar spotted an alleged crime being played out under his nose?

Rev David Chester

Rev David Chester

[00:00:35 to 00:01:20]

“We pray for the Borough of Wirral, for all who work here, for the work of the Mayor and councillors of this Borough and for all who bear responsibility for the ordering of our common life.  For those who work with and for our children and young people in education and recreation, for a vision of community which inspires our labours and for the use of our gifts in the service of God’s People.  Heavenly Father, whose blessed son Jesus Christ has shown us that the secret of happiness is a heart set free from selfish desires, help us to look not only on our own care but also on the needs of others and inspire us with such fair dealing and fellow-feeling as may show our common citizenship in you through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

All:  Amen.

FOI request, asking how much public cash is the vicar paid?


If Vicki – in her responsible role as Head of Legal Services – isn’t going to do it, should we approach the police to report this alleged crime?

What do the Wirral public think?


Toodle Pip !

p.s. After three months, a Central Government / Tory Party response is not yet forthcoming:

About Wirral In It Together

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4 Responses to #Antisemitism. We lodged a well-founded Standards Complaint against Tory & Independent Wirral Councillors. Here’s the outcome – it won’t be investigated

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  4. Pingback: We’ve just kissed our Labour vote goodbye. And there’s no going back. | Wirral In It Together

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