Rainham councillor says minutes of meeting “twisted”

A councillor who was kicked out of a council meeting is outraged the minutes have been “twisted” to make it look like he walked out voluntarily.

Cllr Jeffrey Tucker, the leader of the Independent Residents’ Group (IRG) was dismissed from the Annual Council meeting in May after antagonism built between him and some other councillors.

There were other bitter exchanges, including when Cllr Tucker accused the ruling Conservative group of neglecting Rainham residents.

Mayor of Havering Cllr Melvyn Wallace, who was taking the meeting, asked for debate speeches to be limited to five minutes, but when Cllr Tucker continued to speak about a motion he was proposing Cllr Wallace attempted to quieten him.

Cllr Wallace said: “Would you leave the chamber? Go home.” He then asked for Cllr Tucker to be escorted out.

Since then the minutes of the meeting have been released and said: “Following exchanges and interventions by other members the members of the Independent Residents’ Group then retired from the meeting.”

Cllr Steven Kelly, deputy leader of the council, said: “Councillor Tucker was asked to leave the meeting by the mayor due to his conduct, and chose to leave of his own accord.

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“If the mayor feels a councillor is behaving inappropriately he is entitled, as chairman of the meeting, to ask them to leave. If they do not do so, it is open to members to consider a procedural motion requiring the councillor to leave.”

Cllr Tucker put forward a motion at the last full council meeting in July for the minutes to be changed, but this was lost.

He has since said the minutes are misleading and untrue. “They have made it look like I walked out but I never retired from the meeting. I was told if I didn’t leave they would not continue the meeting.

“In the interests of the borough and for the meeting to continue I left.”

Cllr Tucker added: “If you can’t trust the minutes you can’t trust the council.”

Footage of the meeting is still available to view on the council’s website.

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