Posted by: John Brace | 5th December 2019

Councillor David Burgess-Joyce “apologetic” to Wirral Council’s Standards Panel for “racist” tweet following 7 complaints by members of the public

Councillor David Burgess-Joyce “apologetic” to Wirral Council’s Standards Panel for “racist” tweet following 7 complaints by members of the public

                                

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Standards Panel (Wirral Council) Cllr David Burgess-Joyce 4th December 2019 Part 1 of 2

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Standards Panel (Wirral Council) Cllr David Burgess-Joyce 4th December 2019 Part 2 of 2

Cllr David Burgess-Joyce 11th December 2017

Cllr David Burgess-Joyce 11th December 2017

After seven complaints had been made by members of the public (although only one of those seven Mr Paul Cardin was present for the Standards Panel) about a tweet that Cllr David Burgess-Joyce made in July 2019, councillors on Wirral Council’s Standards Panel met on 4th December 2019 to decide whether there had been a breach of the Code of Conduct.

Cllr David Burgess-Joyce had already been suspended from the Conservative Group of councillors on Wirral Council and from the Conservative Party.

In summary the complainants alleged that the tweet of Cllr David Burgess-Joyce (in reply to a tweet of David Lammy MP) was racist. Cllr David Burgess-Joyce had since deleted the tweet, written a letter of apology to David Lammy MP and pinned the letter of apology to his Twitter account.

The specific parts of the Code of Conduct he was alleged to have broken were on “treating others with respect” and “not conducting himself in a manner contrary to Wirral Council’s legal duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct” of councillors.

The Liverpool Echo and BBC had both reported on the tweet in question and suspension in July 2019.

As the Standards Panel decided to have the meeting in public, you can watch video above of what Cllr David Burgess-Joyce and Paul Cardin said during the meeting.

During the meeting Cllr David Burgess-Joyce was apologetic about what had happened, referred to the letter of apology that he had sent and published. He also explained to the Panel that as a result of what had happened he had lost out on £40,000 of work due to the controversy and been treated as a “pariah”.

The Panel (after deliberating in private) did find a breach of the Code of Conduct by Cllr David Burgess-Joyce had happened, but it is not known at the time of publication what sanction will be applied.

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Responses

  1. So let me get this straight, he lost out on £40,000 of work?
    I thought you became a Councillor to help the people of Wirral not promote your own lifestyle or business?

    • Thanks for your comment.

      I think he’s referring to his “day job” as an estate agent – when referring to how the press coverage of what happened led to him losing out on £40,000 of work.

      A lot of councillors have day jobs as being a backbench councillor is considered to be a part-time position.

  2. Mr Brace, could I ask you re-visit your article as Cllr Burgess-Joyce was not found to have been racist but had been disrespectful to David Lammy? These are two different things and are likely to cause you some personal difficulties when Cllr Burgess-Joyce brings legal action against the Council.

    • Thanks for your comment.

      Having re-read the (as yet unpublished) report for the meeting that summarise the complaints, six out of seven summaries of the complainant’s complaints explicitly refer to racism.

      The report of Vicki Shaw (Deputy Monitoring Officer) to the Standards Panel found in her view that there had been a failure on the part of Cllr Burgess-Joyce in respect of paragraphs 1.1 and 1.2 of the Code of Conduct.

      Whereas 1.1 is the part of the Code of Conduct in relation to respect, 1.2 states “DO NOT conduct yourself in a manner which is contrary to the Council’s duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct of Members.”

      Cllr David Burgess-Joyce can of course if he wishes request permission to appeal the Standards Panel decision to a Standards Appeal Panel.

      However the published report of what happened at the Standards Panel meeting (and video above) is covered by qualified privilege because it’s the proceedings of a local authority.

      At that meeting one of the complainants Mr Cardin explicitly referred to his opinion that the tweet was “racist”.

      So thank you for your point but no I’m not changing the article.


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