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Ealing and Northfield

Stacey gets the hump

Jason Stacey pretty much called Councillors Greenhead and Mahfouz liars at last night’s council meeting and has referred the matter to the Council’s Head of Legal Services. Here is the full story from Ealing Conservatives press release:

STEVE POUND LEAFLET IS REFERRED TO LEGAL SERVICES FOR DAMAGING LIES AGAINST COUNCIL

A Labour party leaflet circulated in Hobbayne ward under the banner of Steve Pound MP has been referred to the Council’s Head of Legal Services for telling lies which may do damage to Ealing Council’s reputation. The leaflet which was printed and promoted by Labour councillor, Bassam Mahfouz, claims that a local police officer “announced the likely imminent demolition of much loved Hanwell Community Centre” at a recent public meeting.

The reality is that there is no possibility of demolition of the Community Centre and neither the Council nor the policeman quoted have ever suggested there was. Sgt Dave Williams of Hobbayne Safer Neighbourhood team yesterday emailed Council Leader, Jason Stacey, saying: “Any references that are being made to the Hanwell Community Centre being demolished within a year are to my knowledge incorrect and if I gave that impression at the Hanwell Area Committee meeting then I apologise…”

The leaflet is particularly ironic in that just three years ago the previous Labour Council tried to sell the Community Centre. As the Benham Road and Hale Walk Residents Association said in an e-mail to Cllr Stacey earlier this week: “With regard to the Hanwell Community Centre, this is extremely upsetting that the MP Steve Pound, Phil Greenhead and her past associate no longer a councillor, find it in their interest to say they support the centre when they gave no support… It is useful to remember that the centre was in an auction for sale three years ago and was pulled out with public opposition.”

Leader of the Council, Cllr Jason Stacey said the leaflet crossed the line in what as acceptable in party leaflets and questions the probity of officers of the Council:

“All parties put out leaflets which try to spin the truth and put their best possible case forward, but this one crosses the line by telling outright lies. Steve Pound and Bassam Mahfouz have put their names to an outrageous sheet of slurs that unfairly embroils a police officer for political gain. The allegations are very serious but they are completely false. The undertone questions not only politicians but also the probity of the relevant officers of this Council. I am therefore referring the leaflet to the Head of Legal Services to ask her to investigate potential impact upon the image and reputation of the Council as a whole.”

MPs usually like to keep their reputations in good order. By being associated with Greenhead and Mahfouz’s lying leaflet Pound is in danger of squandering his.

2 replies on “Stacey gets the hump”

Oh dear, this sounds like yet another party political spat and one wonders whether the Council’s lawyers have better things to do than spend time on this issue.

If the Hanwell Community Centre is not under threat of demolition, then what really is the problem here/ It would seem appropriate for the Council to invest more time, money and effort in more successfully communicating what they intend to do and what they don’t intend to do.

Eric,

You are wrong on this one. There is a problem here. The Hobbayne leaflet did cross a line, telling a palpable untruth and dragging the police into a political matter. It is appropriate I think to attempt to sanction councillors who cross a line. Yes to making your case and robust debate. No to telling baseless lies that confuse and upset the public.

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