A Sheffield councillor is set to face disciplinary action – after being caught checking the cricket scores during a debate on the Rotherham sex scandal.
Labour Coun David Barker, who represents Mosborough, was captured on camera checking his mobile phone during a full Sheffield Council meeting while a vote of no confidence in South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright was being discussed.
Several television crews filmed the meeting, where politicians of all parties united to call for Mr Wright to stand down before passing the motion unanimously.
But Coun Barker seemed more interested in what the Lancashire versus Yorkshire cricket score was, hunching over his chair to hide the phone.
His own party has described the behaviour as ‘unacceptable’.
A spokesman for the council’s ruling Labour group said: “This is completely unacceptable behaviour and we would like to apologise unreservedly.
“We will be treating this matter very seriously and the Whip will be undertaking disciplinary action against the member.”
Opposition councillors called for the motion to be debated in the wake of a report from Professor Alexis Jay which revealed 1,400 girls had been victims of child sexual exploitation in the town between 1997 and 2013.
Those from all parties agreed to note ‘with horror and disgust’ the nature of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham and that the position of Mr Wright was untenable.
Coun Barker said: “I can only apologise and will be meeting with the leader and the Whip to discuss the action they wish to take.
“I am offering no mitigation.
“It is a time when confidence in politicians is at an all-time low and it was an utterly irresponsible thing to do.
“I am embarrassed and ashamed by it and will take any action decided.”