Category Archives: Local government

Sheffield Lib Dem leader switches seats to avoid getting the boot

Sheffield Council’s Lib Dem leader is switching seats to avoid an embarrassing local election defeat.

Lib Dem group leader Shaffaq Mohammed has represented the student friendly Broomhill ward for a decade…but will be moving up the hill to leafy Crookes and Crosspool just in time for the election on May 22nd.

He made no public announcement confirming his departure – voters found out about the switch when a leaflet was stuffed through their door.


It’s hard to fault him. After all, his predecessor as Lib Dem leader, Paul Scriven – also a Broomhill councillor – was forced into an embarrassing third place in the 2012 local elections, behind Labour and the Green Party. Shaffaq is currently the only remaining Lib Dem councillor in Broomhill.

The upmarket suburbs of Crosspool and Crookes, on the other hand, attract the bare minimum of students, and the Crookes ward, where both areas sit, is right in the middle of Clegg’s constituency of Sheffield Hallam. The ward was one of a handful of Lib Dem holds in 2012’s election.

You may remember Mr Scriven from the delightful and not at all embarrassing advert he made for his favourite local hotel, where he sang and danced to Lou Reed’s Perfect Day…and hoped nobody would notice. Scrapbook did.

Running in Shaffaq’s old seat will be student Lib Dem activist, Old Etonian and former Clegg intern Harry Matthews. He enjoyed brief fame for giving Nick a bright green onesie and asking him if he’d ever worn it live on the radio.

Shaffaq told the Sheffield Star:

“There is no guarantee of winning any seat in Sheffield – I never take anything for granted.”

Wise words…

Vile Facebook messages of ‘social cleansing’ Tory Councillor


A Tory councillor made sick jokes about domestic violence, complained about lesbians, the disabled and black people getting an easy ride, and labelled benefit claimants “scum” on Facebook, Political Scrapbook can reveal.


The posts, made by Cllr Tom Davey of Tory-run Barnet Council, were revealed just days after he was caught advocating ‘social cleansing’ in a shocking video.


In Davey’s status updates, which he made during his time at LSE in 2008, he moaned that his jobhunting might be easier if he were a “black female wheelchair bound amputee who is sexually attracted to other women.”


In another post, he joked he was “more excited than Harold Shipman in a nursing home.”

Speaking to Scrapbook, Davey said the sick joke was “probably misjudgement in hindsight” – but that despite being open to tens of thousands of people in the LSE Facebook network, it was a private joke between friends.

He admitted:

“I have a very dry sense of humour”


Defending perhaps the most disgusting post, in which he says he is “smacking his bitch up…that’ll teach her for ironing loudly whilst the football is on” – Davey said he was being “ironic.”

“I don’t like football and my wife doesn’t do the ironing. If you think it’s a joke about domestic violence, fine.”

Brazenly unapologetic, Davey said it was entirely appropriate to make joke about mass murderers and domestic violence in an essentially public forum.

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with any of those things in that context.”

Given his recent outburst in a public meeting, it seems context doesn’t matter an awful lot to Mr Davey

Tory councillor: ‘Lie Back and enjoy rape’


A Tory councillor and former mayor of Cheltenham has been slammed for making a “repulsive” rape comment during a public meeting. Barbara Driver compared housing developers ability to tell a council how many affordable homes it is willing to build on a specific site to rape.

She said:

“There is a saying and I am going to say it: When rape is inevitable, lie back and enjoy it.”

There’s been quite the backlash, with colleagues calling the remark “beyond belief.” Furious locals took to Twitter, demanding Driver resign and saying they were “shocked and horrified.”

She’s said sorry in an open letter, in which she describes the remark as “completely inappropriate and thoughtless and should not have been said.”

Especially since Driver headed up a working group on sexual exploitation just last year …

If you can’t beat ‘em: crony Gilligan joins those he called “fat cats”

Boris Johnson transport aides

The enmity amongst Boris Johnson’s top transport advisers will be palpable on Victoria Embankment this morning, where Boris Johnson is PR-ing his “cycling vision” for London. His media lackey and “cycling commissioner” Andrew Gilligan will be in attendance, alongside Transport for London commissioner Peter Hendy (far left above) — a man apparently described by Gilligan as a:

“long-serving transport beaurocrat who got lucky”

Gilligan has never publicly denied accusations from London hacks Adam Bienkov and Dave Hill that he was behind the online sockpuppet “kennite”, which was used to troll the Ken Livingstone administration and opponents of Boris Johnson:

Andrew Gilligan kennite account

The bitter resistance to the plum cycling czar appointment by City Hall figures such as Isabel Dedring (above right) has its roots in Gilligan’s characterisation of his current colleagues as the UK’s most grasping fat cats:

“Local government, with Mr Hendy as a prime example, shows how, in the public sector, perhaps even more than in the private, senior rewards seem to have lost all relationship with the service performed and the value obtained.”

Not having beaten the likes of Hendy, however, Gilligan has opted to join them — on a pro-rata salary of £95,000 per year.

Tory councillor: Costa staff are “bitches” who “need a good beating”

Pete Chapman on Costa staff

A women’s group has called on a Tory to quit over comments on Facebook. Dorset councillor Pete Chapman said that staff in a coffee shop should be beaten for not providing him with satisfactory service:

“Terminally slow (and bad) service from the bone idle bitches at Costa Dorchester today, they all need a good beating.”

One of his council colleagues then commented:

 “Meow. Never knew you had it in you Pete.”

Clearly the territory of enlightened views, the area, where Chapman is council spokesman for resources, is home to Richard Drax MP — the author of a notorious (and now deleted) blog post entitled “Two + two = gay”, in which the discussion of homosexuality in schools was described as “imposing questionable sexual standards”.

Richard Drax: "Two + two = gay"

The chair of Women’s Action Network Dorset (WAND), Toni McKee, told the Dorset Echo that the “absolutely terrible” comments mean that Chapman “should step down”.

His excuse?

“My Facebook status is private and that comment was not made in public.”

Councillor who said disabled kids “should be put down” finally quits


A councillor who claimed that disabled children “should be put down” because they “cost the council too much” has finally resigned after coming under intense pressure from colleagues and officials. Collin Brewer had refused to step down from Cornwall County Council, offering the excuse that he “was probably a little bit het up” when he ranted at a charity worker after a meeting.

“I know people will be delighted that I have resigned.”

As rules of thumb go, Katie Price commenting on a political issue is a good a measure as any that it has gone mainstream. The former glamour model asked Brewer whether he would like to “dispose of” her son, who suffers from autism and partial blindness:

The charity whose member of staff was subjected to the tirade welcomed his decision — but couldn’t resist pointing out that the “apology” from Brewer took eighteen months:

“We believe Councillor Brewer’s decision to step down is the right one.”

“It is a shame that it took a formal investigation and 18 months to force the apology we eventually received.”

Astonishingly, he’s seriously considering standing for council again in three months’ time.

Tory offices targeted with faeces

Bad smell

Conservative councillors in Brighton are up in arms after someone left a poo on the floor of their City Hall office. According to the Brighton Argus:

“The excrement was found on the floor of the unlocked second floor office on Thursday and reported immediately … Only people with a swipe card or official visitors who have to sign in at the front desk can access that part of the building.”

Worryingly, the news comes just six months after a turd was found heated in a microwave used by council workers in another building.

As it has not been established whether the faeces was human or animal in origin, it remains a possibility that a councillor may have, errr, “lost their deposit” on the floor of the opposition office.

Tory member Dawn Barnet suggested the culprit was a political opponent:

“We understand there’s always a few digs from other parties and opponents but this is disgusting.”

At least it wasn’t a smear campaign.

Cllr refuses to resign after saying disabled kids “should be put down”


A councillor in Cornwall has refused to resign after saying that disabled children should be “put down”. At an official event designed to network council members with equalities organisations, Colin Brewer approached a stall operated by a disabled charity and told them:

“Disabled children cost the council too much money and should be put down.”

Details of the incident, which occurred in 2011, have only now come to light after a standards committee forced him to send a written letter of apology to the organisation running the stand, Disability Cornwall.

The independent councillor’s excuse?

“I had come to their stall after a long council meeting and I was probably a little bit het up as we had had some difficult debates.”

This scumbag is currently taking home nearly £14,000 in allowances courtesy of the taxpayer (not including expenses).

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