New calls for ‘swear’ word probe

Coun Bob Brierley outside Wigan town hall on his way to a council meeting
Coun Bob Brierley outside Wigan town hall on his way to a council meeting

AN outspoken councillor is to face a standards probe regarding alleged offensive comments after the council flip-flopped on whether he will face an investigation.

Coun Bob Brierley was accused of using a swear word at a full council meeting in November.

Having been initially told he had been reported to the council’s standards committee, he was later told the case would not go through the standards procedures.

Although the issue was reignited at Wednesday’s meeting at Leigh Town Hall.

Coun Terence Halliwell told the chamber the meeting was an opportunity for Coun Brierley to apologise for his conduct.

But the independent member has maintained he did not swear. He said: “I’m not apologising for something I’ve not done.

“I have been slated in the press for this. You have tried to shut me down as an elected councillor.”

Following November’s meeting, the council posted a video of the incident on its website.

But Coun Brierley had also made his own recording which he believes clears him of any conduct breaches.

Deputy leader Coun David Molyneux called for an investigation to be relaunched.

He said: “We have got witnesses and we’ve seen the video. Tonight was a perfect opportunity to say sorry.”

The motion was carried meaning a standards committee hearing is now likely in the next few months.

The incident occurred as Coun Brierley was addressing the chamber but paused because he felt he was being interrupted by Labour’s Coun Stephen Murphy and then remarked in his direction.

Accusations were then thrown across the chamber.

Coun Anita Thorpe said the alleged term “was about his head and another part of his anatomy.”

To watch the video Click here