Labour councillors in Hartlepool respond to the announcement of a possible boycott of council meetings by the Conservative group. On Saturday, Mike Young, the leader of the Hartlepool Conservatives on Hartlepool Borough Council called for a boycott from Conservative councillors saying:
“We formally call on every single Councillor of Hartlepool Borough Council to refuse to attend any further meetings of Council until Councillor Gordon Cranney has honoured his earlier statement of resignation.”
Conservative Councillor Gordon Cranney pleaded guilty at Middlesbrough Magistrates Court on 28 April to assaulting his wife. As Hartlepool went to the polls a week later on Thursday 5 May, voters were unaware of the court case and Cranney was re-elected.
A response from Hartlepool Labour
North East Bylines has been forwarded a statement from Councillor Amy Prince via Councillor Jonathan Brash, Deputy Leader of the Labour Group:
Labour Statement on Councillor Gordon Cranney from Councillor Amy Prince:
“As a survivor of Domestic Abuse, it has been incredibly difficult watching this terrible situation unfold. I feel immense sympathy for the family of Mr Cranney being thrust into the media spotlight in such a way. Reading the many comments online has been especially harrowing, particularly those that seem to be minimising the impact these events have on people.
“A conviction for violence against a woman is completely incompatible with public office and I sincerely hope Mr Cranney resigns to work on himself and his family.
“As for the Conservative Party’s decision to boycott meetings until he does resign, the Labour Party simply does not support such a strategy. There are huge issues facing our town and as councillors we have a duty to show up for the job we were elected to do.
“As a victim of domestic abuse, if I can turn up in these circumstances, I would hope the Conservatives can do the same.”
What if the boycott goes ahead?
If the Conservative-Independent coalition does boycott Council meetings that in theory would leave the Labour Group in charge of the Council.
However, we understand that the Conservatives are turning up for behind closed doors meetings where chairmanships are decided. The first is tomorrow (Tuesday 10 May) at 10am. Hartlepool Labour Party posted this afternoon:
Meanwhile Cllr Cranney has emailed all councillors with an apology and explanation of his conduct, promising to resign.