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Conservatives Try To Gag Justice for Brid

January 28, 2014

If abusive personal attacks by the Council Leader and his Deputy did not cross the line, the latest stunts from the Conservative Group at County Hall certainly do.

We can now reveal that they have attempted to silence Justice for Brid and are trying to deselect councillors suspected supporting us.

Political parties have hierarchical structures and disciplinary procedures and as such the Regional Chairman for Yorkshire, who is also a Party Board member received an official complaint from the ERYC Conservative Group against Geoff Pickering (who then held a senior position in the Party) regarding his involvement with Justice For Brid.

The charge, which was liberally interspersed with abusive and libellous comment, was that J4B was speaking out against Conservative (Group) policy, causing problems for Conservative councillors, reducing their chances of elected at the next election. This was a carefully crafted complaint with at least two charges that can lead to expulsion from the Party.

Geoff was asked to attend a meeting to explain his actions, and although exonerated, was given some ‘advice’.  This was effectively saying it is incompatible for anyone holding an elected voluntary position in the Conservative Party to engage in any activity that highlights incompetence or failures of any Conservative-led council or Conservative councillor.  Also that all elected officials of the Party should avoid bringing attention to wrong-doing within the Party, to ensure the electoral success of those councillors who may be embarrassed or electorally disadvantaged by public scrutiny of their actions.

Geoff will continue to contribute to Justice for Brid, and has ensured he is free to speak out without party political interference.

It has also been revealed by members of the Councillor Selection Panel in David Davis’ Association that similar charges have been raised by the ERYC Conservative Group against councillors thought to support our campaign, and that they were ( in the presence of Group Leader Cllr Parnaby ) questioned on their involvement with Justice for Brid as grounds for de-selection.  We are told that sitting councillors have been suspended from the list of candidates.

Cllr Nick Evans recently resigned from the Group, citing bullying and intimidation – something we at Justice for Brid have experienced first hand.

Conservative Party Board members, although well aware of what is going on, have so far failed to act and this looks like escalating into a fiasco to parallel the Labour Party selection woes in Falkirk.

It has since come to light that these formal ‘Group’ complaints were nothing of the sort. They were not known of, or sanctioned by, all the Conservative councillors, but was simply the Group Secretary passing off the grievances of a few senior members as if from them all. You can imagine why, a complaint from 53 councillors is a serious matter indeed.

The Group Secretary, Cllr Felicity Temple, receives a taxpayer-funded Special Responsibility Allowance of £11,697.00 on top of her other allowances in order to do this job. The East Riding is one of only two councils across the whole of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire to make public-funded payments for political Group Secretaries. 


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  1. How is the Special Responsibility Allowance for Felicity Temple justified? Looking at ERYC committee structure she is neither a member of the cabinet nor a chair or vice-chairperson of any other committee. It is difficult to see how this is justified when looking at the allowances they receive:

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