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Police eject tweeting councillor from meeting

News story - below, Gareth Fairhurst after being ejected from the council meeting

News story - below, Gareth Fairhurst after being ejected from the council meeting

A TOWN hall meeting descended into chaos last night as a councillor was thrown out for tweeting.

Standish independent, Coun Gareth Fairhurst, was escorted out of the chamber by two police officers.

A handful of fellow opposition councillors staged a walkout in support.

Members had been earlier warned by Mayor Billy Rotherham that the use of social media was banned.

But after 40 minutes, the often outspoken Coun Fairhurst was ordered to leave after his live tweets had been spotted by council officers.

Mayor Rotherham said: “I have got grandchildren who don’t behave like you do. I move that you are expelled from the meeting.”

Stunned councillors were then informed that the meeting would not continue until Coun Fairhurst left the chamber.

During the delay, Police Community Support Officers were called in but Coun Fairhurst - who sought legal advice from the council’s legal experts - remained in his seat.

After 20 minutes had passed, chief executive Donna Hall informed the chamber that he had “refused to leave unless police officers are called.”

Coun Fairhurst eventually left the chamber once police officers arrived and was accompanied down the Town Hall steps by his father and fellow councillor George Fairhurst.

Minutes later, councillors Gary Wilkes, James Grundy and Jamie Hodgkinson followed in protest.

The meeting continued with leader Lord Peter Smith later commenting: “This has been the most atrocious meeting I have seen.”

 
 
 

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