Labour Group removes whip from Sheffield councillor

A Sheffield councillor who has breached the code of conduct has had the whip removed by Labour.

By Lucy Ashton
Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 1:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 2:38 pm
Coun Neale Gibson
Coun Neale Gibson

Walkley councillor Neale Gibson has been sanctioned following two complaints to the council’s standards board.

Coun Gibson declined to comment but he said he would be appealing to Labour Party regional office against the decision by Sheffield Labour Group.

No details have been released about the complaints but it’s believed they were made by a member of the public and upheld by the standards board.

A Labour Group spokesman said: “Coun Neale Gibson has had the Labour Group whip withdrawn for a period of 60 days following two standards complaints where it was determined he had breached the code of conduct.”

Coun Gibson remains a Labour Party member but will not be allowed to attend Group meetings, although he will be expected to follow Labour policy and voting.

In October last year Coun Gibson was reprimanded by the Labour Group after making “extremely insensitive” comments on social media about the death of a teenage girl.

At the time, Coun Peter Rippon, Labour whip, said: ‘These comments are clearly unacceptable and extremely insensitive, they do not reflect the views of Sheffield Labour councillors. We will be treating this matter very seriously and will be considering the appropriate disciplinary action to take against the member.”

Two months later, Sheffield Council said it would not discipline Coun Gibson after a complaint about a fake twitter account which abused members of the public and political opponents. Following a month long investigation, Coun Gibson was cleared of being behind the account.

In January of this year, Labour removed Coun Gibson from a licensing committee after questions were raised about his company being linked to an escort business. Following an investigation by the council, it found Coun Gibson was not guilty of wrongdoing but the Labour Group decided to stand by its decision to remove him.

Coun Gibson was elected in 2012 and is cabinet adviser for environment, streetscene and climate change.