Council meet in ‘Nazi’ storm

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A POLITICAL storm has erupted at Wigan town hall after a councillor compared government policies to those of the Nazis.

The accusation, voiced by Labour’s Lawrence Hunt, prompted Tory councillor James Grundy to storm out.

The shock exchange occurred as the council was discussing a motion calling on the chief executive to compile a report on the impact of welfare reforms.

Speaking on the motion and about the further impact the reforms will have on disabled people in the borough, Wigan Central member Coun Hunt said: “We have come to expect this kind of treatment with these so-called reforms from the ‘Nasty Party’.

“All right-wing regimes of the past, and I include the Nazis in that, have targeted disabled people.

“The reforms are targeting the most vulnerable in society.”

The reference to the Nazis brought an immediate response from Lowton East’s Coun Grundy, the only Tory representative on Wigan council.

Having jumped to his feet, he said: “I am going to call for an apology. That kind of rhetoric is an insult to the lives of all the people that died in the war and in the Holocaust.

“(Secretary of State for Work and Pensions) Iain Duncan Smith’s father was a war hero, to make a comparison to the Nazis is unacceptable.”

Coun Hunt was offered an opportunity to apologise for his statement by Mayor Myra Whiteside but declined, prompting Coun Grundy to leave.