Kate Josephs: Sheffield Council boss should resign over Westminster party scandal, say residents

Sheffield Council chief executive Kate Josephs should resign after over her Westminster ‘leaving party’ during Covid restrictions in December, residents have told the Star.

Monday, 17th January 2022, 4:27 pm

Mrs Josephs apologised for her involvement in the event, which took place on December 17, 2020 in a statement yesterday, which is reported to have been attended by "dozens" of officials from the Covid-19 taskforce which Mrs Josephs had led as director-general and involved the consumption of alcohol.

Mrs Josephs took over as Sheffield City Council chief executive earlier this year after the job was advertised with a salary of £190,000 a year.

Today, Sheffield residents in Endcliffe Park, who spoke to The Star were unanimous in the belief she should resign over the scandal.

Kate Josephs CEO of Sheffield City Council. Calls have been made for her to resign over her leaving party during lockdown restrictions. Picture Scott Merrylees

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Richard Allen, from Hillsborough said: “I think she should resign. I think anyone that’s been through this and understands the seriousness, all the things people have had to do, to comply with, and yet the people making these rules, the people who are supposed to be representing us, seem like it doesn’t apply to them.”

Toby Kitching, from Greystones, agreed. He said: “I think when public representatives are breaking rules that the rest of us are supposed to follow for very sensible reasons for public health, then yes, I think then it calls into question their judgement, and I do think that a resignation would be on the cards, and a number of Government officials have made that same response.

Phil Read, of Greystones said: “It’s not a very good start for her is it? I hope she’s not one of these people who believes in do as I say, not do as I do. I think she really ought to reconsider her position about this. We need someone better who can lead by example.”

Calls have been made for Kate Josephs to resign over her leaving party during lockdown restrictions.. Pictured is Paul Wells

Paul Wells, of Banner Cross, said: “I think it’s quite obvious that all the people who are at the top of any organisation should know better than anyone the implications of behaviour that is not only illegal at the time, but quite simply setting a thoroughly bad example . She’s not fit to carry on in her position, I don’t know a great deal about her background but it is quite appalling, My instincts say that she should resign.”

Resignation call from former council leader Paul Scriven

Former Sheffield Council leader Paul Scriven, who is now a peer, has also called for Mrs Josephs to resign.

Calls have been made for Kate Josephs to resign over her leaving party during lockdown restrictions.. Pictured is Toby Kitching

“She has no moral authority to be the senior officer of the organisation that leads on public health and Covid in my city,” he said.

Sheffield Council chief executive Kate Josephs has said she is 'truly sorry' for her involvement in a Cabinet Office party.

Mrs Josephs wrote: "On the evening of 17 December, I gathered with colleagues that were at work that day, with drinks, in our office in the Cabinet Office, to mark my leaving the civil service.

"I am truly sorry I did this and for the anger people will feel as a result.

Former Sheffied Council leader Paul Scriven at his home in Sheffield. He has called for Lesley Josephs to resign. Picture Scott Merrylees

"Sheffield has suffered greatly during this pandemic and I apologise unreservedly.

"The specific facts of this event will be considered in the context of the Cabinet Office investigation. I did not attend any events at 10 Downing Street.

Calls have been made for Kate Josephs to resign over her leaving party during lockdown restrictions.. Pictured is Richard Allen
Calls have been made for Kate Josephs to resign over her leaving party during lockdown restrictions.. Pictured is Phil Read