March 9 2014 Latest news:
Sam Blewett, Reporter
Saturday, February 8, 2014
A councillor was expelled from the second full council meeting in a row after shouting “bullies” in the chamber.
Independent Residents’ Group (IRG) leader Cllr Jeff Tucker (Rainham and Wennington) repeatedly accused members of bullying him before being escorted from the full council meeting at Havering Town Hall last Wednesday.
Cllr Eric Munday, Havering Mayor, called for his dismissal 10 minutes before the end.
As he left, Cllr Tucker said: “I’m sorry, Mr Mayor, but they’re all a bunch of bullies. I’ve met some extremely bad people in my life but never so many in one place.”
Moments before the expulsion, Cllr Paul Rochford (Conservative, Emerson Park) said: “I find much of what Cllr Tucker says hard to follow.
“If he looks up the words in the dictionary, he might understand what they mean, and then he might be able to make a better contribution at the next meeting.”
The meeting begun badly for the IRG after its bid to have former Cllr Mark Logan reinstated was voted down by an overwhelming majority.
Mr Logan, 54, was automatically dismissed because he had not attended a council meeting in six months.
His chronic diabetes means he needs kidney dialysis sessions three times a week which clash with council meetings.
Cllr David Durant (Rainham and Wennington, IRG) delivered the reinstatement speech.
Councillors can no longer rely on a “gentleman’s agreement” to protect their positions, he said.
He tried to explain the situation with a football anecdote. He used an example of when a player is injured, convention means the opponents should hand the ball back to the other team.
He said: “On the infamous occasion Arsenal’s new African signing, not knowing the unwritten rule, ran with the ball unchallenged and scored the winning goal.”
Cllr Tucker was thrown out of a council meeting on November 28 as members feared violence would erupt when he refused to apologise for his comments that white council officers would find it “awkward and uncomfortable” to work with non-white colleagues in Newham.