Councillors row in Sheffield over Brexit row in London

A heated debate broke out in Sheffield Town Hall over the Brexit chaos in Parliament.

Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 9:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 10:14 pm
Sheffield Town Hall

Council Leader Julie Dore wanted to suspend the agenda for an emergency motion attacking the Prime Minister for pushing through a “reckless, divisive and destructive” no deal Brexit.

She was backed by Coun Penny Baker, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, but the Green Party opposed it.

Green councillor Douglas Johnson said if the agenda was rejigged, it wouldn’t leave enough time for new councillor Ruth Mersereau to give her maiden speech.

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Coun Dore said: “We need to send a message from Sheffield that we will not allow this attack on our democracy and these political shenanigans need to stop now.”

Coun Baker agreed. “It’s beyond belief this is happening. We need to send a really strong message to the Prime Minister that this is our country, our democracy so get your hands off it.”

But Coun Johnson was frustrated by the last minute motion. “We don’t need to have this debate and the irony is the Green motion is bumped off the agenda as Labour finds it embarrassing to discuss further cuts to the people of Sheffield. Those in power are filibustering.”

Former UKIP councillor Jack Clarkson, now an independent, was hauled over the coals after he said “some people” called MPs “traitors” for not seeing through Brexit.

Coun Colin Ross said his comment was a “reprehensible slur” and there were calls for him to withdraw it. After initially standing by his words, Coun Clarkson did retract his comments.

The motion “profoundly opposed” the decision to prorogue Parliament and called it a “cynical tactic to facilitate a no deal Brexit”. It was agreed by all councillors, apart from Coun Clarkson.