Councillor thrown out of civic reception
COUNCILLOR Bob Bailey was removed from the Freedom of the Borough ceremony last week because he was drunk, claimed fellow councillors. The opposition leader was clearly under the influence according to deputy council leader Cllr Bob Little. Cllr Little
COUNCILLOR Bob Bailey was removed from the Freedom of the Borough ceremony last week because he was drunk, claimed fellow councillors.
The opposition leader was "clearly under the influence" according to deputy council leader Cllr Bob Little.
Cllr Little is now calling for Cllr Bailey's resignation, however the BNP man says he has done nothing wrong.
Cllr Bailey, who is an ex serviceman, was due to speak in support of bestowing the borough's highest honour on the Royal Anglian Regiment - the Freedom of the Borough.
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But before he could deliver his speech on Wednesday January 27, he was escorted from the Broadway Theatre by a security guard.
Cllr Bailey claims this is because council staff and other councillors were concerned his address would be a "political hot potato".
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"I must have received four calls from council officers that afternoon asking me not to mention the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said.
"They had already decided that I should not be allowed to speak. They were trying to censure me. That's why I was told to leave.
"And as for Bob Little - I didn't see or speak to him all evening - so I don't know where he is getting his information from."
Cllr Little has said Cllr Bailey was in no fit state to deliver a speech and suggested he apologise to the award recipients.
"Councillor Bailey should resign," he said. "Turning up for such an important event inebriated is at best embarrassing, at worst an insult to the event, the sponsors and to the people receiving the Freedom of the Borough.
"In all my time as a councillor I have never seen anyone behave in such a way."
Cllr Bailey claims senior council staff were behind his removal from the ceremony last week and his being drunk is a lie invented to cover up the truth.
Council chief Rob Whiteman said: "When I spoke to Cllr Bailey during the day I did not ask him to say nothing about the war but rather reminded him that the Freedom of the Borough ceremony is a civic and non-party political occasion where guests would be offended if the atmosphere was not one of celebrating the achievements of those being honoured.
"Cllr Bailey was not removed from the event because of any views he might express but because he was very drunk and causing embarrassment and concern to others which we are not willing to tolerate from anybody.