Councillor's anger at standards referral in election row

An outspoken opposition councillor has furiously hit out after being told he has again been referred to the standards process.

Monday, 4th June 2018, 11:30 am
Updated Monday, 4th June 2018, 3:07 pm
Coun Bob Brierley

Hindley Green independent Coun Bob Brierley has been informed by the town hall that it is looking into allegations about his conduct during the recent local election campaign.

The complaint has been made by Gena Merrett, who unsuccessfully tried to win the Hindley Green seat for Labour.

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Coun Bob Brierley

It accuses Coun Brierley of publishing false information about her.

Coun Brierley has responded furiously, accusing the council of failing to follow its own rules as an email from a senior officer in April stated the local authority could not get involved in election disputes.

His ire has been further provoked after his name was mistakenly removed from the complaint form in what is believed to be an administrative botch-up at the town hall.

Coun Brierley, who has also strongly refuted the allegations and denied any wrongdoing, says the error makes the whole document invalid.

He said: “I’m now demanding this is withdrawn because the document is all wrong.

“The people at the council are professional enough to get this right.

“This is also yet another example of Wigan Council bending the rules. One minute they tell me anything to do with elections goes through the police or the Electoral Commission and then a complaint is taken off somebody.

“They are just going for me all the time. It’s blatantly obvious the council carries a vendetta towards me from its actions and this complaint.

“It stands out like a sore thumb. The evidence is all there.

“They just want to stop me being a councillor. They don’t want me to be a councillor and they don’t accept the people elected me. They’re just bullying and intimidating all the time.

"These allegations could cripple my reputation in the community.

“Enough’s enough. I’m not having this. Some of these references about me are disgraceful.”

A Wigan Council spokesperson said: “We have received a complaint and it is being dealt with through the normal standards procedure. We can’t comment further while that process is ongoing.”