Tagged: tweet

Middlesbrough Council meeting stopped after members of the public refuse to stop filming

A council meeting descended into chaos last night when two members of the public began filming inside Middlesbrough Town Hall.

The meeting was halted just minutes after the new chairman was agreed as Cllr Bob Kerr.

Made aware of the filming taking place, he asked the men to cease filming.

When the men refused to put down the cameras and stop filming, two police officers entered the council chamber to speak to the men.

 The chairman then suspended the meeting and left the chamber.

After several minutes he returned to ask everyone to evacuate the building and congregate in the quadrangle outside.

After a 30 minute delay, councillors, the media and members of the public – except the men with cameras who were prevented from re-entering the building by the police – returned and the meeting resumed.

Beechwood ward Cllr Joan McTigue said: “It is a public meeting and councillors themselves tweet away to people outside – what is being said and by whom etc. Therefore I see no problem with it being filmed and put into the public domain.”

Last June Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles published a guide which states councils should allow the public to film, blog and tweet council meetings.

But the chairman said: “According to 25.2 of the Constitution no photography or filming can take place. The chair has the authority according to the Constitution of asking and if necessary forcing anyone doing so to leave.”

When the meeting resumed, North Ormesby and Brambles Farm ward councillor Len Junier proposed an amendment regarding allowances that every councillor in the authority should take a 5% cut for the next two years.

Mayor Ray Mallon accused him of speaking to the press saying it was “narrow-minded”.

He said: “If I had my way I would give them a bit of a pay rise. A 5% cut would be minimal, it would not be a pin prick in relation to the savings.”

The majority voted against the amendment.

Middlesbrough Conservative leader Chris Hobson submitted a proposal to alter the new senior management structure which she said would save the local authority £363,000. Mr Mallon said he would meet with her to discuss it further. Six voted for it, 34 against.

Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette,  15 May 2014

Police drop claim of racism directed AGAINST English Defence League (!)

EDL – thick, white and then some…

> Fascist feelings hurt by comparison with loaf of bread shock ! And on St George’s Day too – the irony of it…

Police investigating a city councillor for sending an allegedly racist message on social media have dropped their case against him.

Dipu Ahad, who represents Newcastle’s Elswick ward, was quizzed by Northumbria Police after members of the public complained he had retweeted an image racially targeting the far-right English Defence League.

But the case was dropped over a lack of evidence and Mr Ahad denies the tweet had racist overtones.

He said: “I’m glad that the Crown Prosecution Service have seen sense and they realise what I do in the community and that the tweet wasn’t racist.

“I’m not saying that I didn’t retweet it, but sometimes you tweet something and it comes up as a link and the picture doesn’t come up.

“This has been a campaign against me from the far right. It is sad that the police have questioned me over this.”

The message is alleged to have been shared on Twitter on March 10 and contains an image of a loaf of bread containing the words ‘white’ and ‘thick’ on its packaging.

Shortly afterwards, he was questioned by the police and spoken to by senior staff at Newcastle City Council after two members of the public complained.

However, friends of Mr Ahad leapt to his defence following the incident.

Aaron Lipsy, Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregation in Newcastle, who works alongside him to organise the city’s Holocaust Memorial Day, said Mr Ahad works tirelessly to fight against racism.

Tony Dowling from the National Union of Teachers said he was against prejudice of any kind.

Mr Ahad said the alleged tweet is the latest in a string of smears from far-right groups which include a website that has been made about him.

He said: “From my point of view this has been part of an ongoing campaign from the far-right.

“I work really hard in this community in regards to race relations and everybody knows that.”

Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle   23 April 2014

Tory MP defends ‘scumbag hooligans’ comment about Sunderland fans

AN MP who came under fire for labelling football fans “scumbag hooligans” on Twitter has defended his comments.

Thousands of Sunderland fans gathered in Covent Garden last night ahead of Sunday’s  Capital One Cup final clash.

Tory MP Robert Halfon sparked fury when he posted a picture of litter in the streets on Twitter and wrote: “Went to London for dinner. Wish I hadn’t. Scumbag football hooligans turn Covent Garden into a disgusting Cesspit.”

The member for Harlow in Essex soon found himself at the centre of an online firestorm and facing criticism from his own party.

Sunderland Conservative councillor Lee Martin wrote: “Nice to see @halfon4harlowMP has labelled the 5000 Sunderland fans in Covent Garden last night scumbags and hooligans. Idiot.”

But Mr Halfon denied his attack has been aimed exclusively at Sunderland fans.

 “My tweet was to do specifically with the state of the area I saw and walked on, which was much broken glass and huge amounts of dropped litter in the roads. Why is it wrong of me to point that out?

“I asked a police officer who told me that there were six clubs in the area. In no way was I, or did I, identify one club over another, in fact I was not sure who had actually done it other than it was people associated with football.

“I specifically did not attack fans from any club but was referring only to those who had left the broken glass. It is wrong to say I have mentioned or described any fan’s from any club in the manner described.

“I also make clear the distinction between genuine fans of which there are many, and have every right to enjoy themselves, and hooligans who throw and smash glass all over the road. As a football fan myself I have huge admiration for most British clubs.

“That was the context of my tweet, which inevitably has been twisted or misunderstood as attacking a particular group of fans, or particular club, which was far from the case.”

Other Twitter users questioned whether Mr Halfon would have been similarly critical of the mess left behind after other events.

The Times football writer Tony Barrett posed a picture of the debris left after New Year’s Eve celebrations, with the question: “London after New Years Eve – “scumbag New Year revellers” or just not enough bins?”

And freelance writer Daniel Storey posted a link to details of the clean-up operation after the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, with the comment: “30 tonnes of rubbish on streets after diamond jubilee. Scumbag jubilee hooligans?”

Source – Sunderland Echo,  03 Mar 2014