Demands for webcast evidence over allegations Sheffield councillor swore

Councillors demanded a live webcast of a meeting be rewound after allegations that a member said the F word.

Thursday, 7th November 2019, 9:18 am
Sheffield Town Hall

Rows erupted at a meeting of the full council, which left one councillor describing it as a “horrible, mean spirited chamber”.

It began when Green councillor Alison Teal accused Labour councillor Lewis Dagnall of “shouting and being aggressive” towards her. Labour jeered and she said their attitude was disrespectful.

Council Leader Julie Dore interjected and accused Green Party councillors of laughing during a discussion on food banks. They were furious and shouted out in objection and denial.

Coun Alison Teale

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Labour councillor Mick Rooney then said he heard a Green councillor use the F word.

Lord Mayor Tony Downing, who was chairing the meeting, intervened and said: "Foul language will not be tolerated. Did you say the word?"

Green councillor Paul Turpin denied swearing and said: “I was deeply offended by Coun Dore's accertations and I said rubbish, how dare she.”

Labour’s whip Coun Peter Rippon then stopped proceedings and asked officers to rewind the webcast to check. Councillors were later informed that the live webcast couldn’t be stopped and they would have to watch it once it was completed and posted online.

Coun Teal later posted on twitter: “Once again Labour and Lib Dems deleted entirely our one and only first motion of the year. Democracy or any respect for it is barely alive in this horrible mean spirited chamber.”

Lib Dem councillor Joe Otten said he was sitting close to Coun Turpin and said he didn’t hear him swear but tweeted “the tone of the debate was awful”.