Ealing Council Will Not Be Silenced

No minutes' silence for Mrs Thatcher despite attempts

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Liberal Democrat Councillor Jon Ball will not be silenced

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An attempt to hold a minute's silence in Ealing in memory of Margaret Thatcher was derailed last night.

The Conservative group (and UKIP representative) hoped it would happen before Ealing's full Council meeting (Tuesday 16th August) but it had been refused on the grounds that no previous deceased PM's had been recognised in this way and Mrs Thatcher had no connection to the Borough.

However, last night the Conservatives attempted to stand up and carry out the minutes' silence, without permission.

Jon Ball, the Liberal Democrat Councillor For Ealing Common, says he had to put a stop to it. He told the chamber:

'' It has been decided through the proper channels not to have a minute's silence. The Tories - and UKIP - are now coming up with this as a cheap party political stunt. 
I came in to politics in the 1980s to oppose Thatcher. It would be totally hypocritical of me to take part in any minute's silence and I will not do so.
If there is a silence I will leave the chamber.''

The Labour whip Brian Reeves agreed with Cllr Ball that there should be no minute's silence and there was comment that the Tories were being disrespectful to the Mayor by trying to go ahead with it without the Mayor's agreement.

UKIP representative Councillor Benjamin Dennehy says it was a disgrace:

"I noticed on the agenda that no mention of a minute's silence had been added. I decided to ask under the Urgency rules of Council why no such mark of respect was being held. I was told by the outgoing Mayor that my question would be answered later in the proceedings. I got no such answer. The Tories did however stage a stand up minute of silence, which UKIP supported. Labour and Lib Dems refused to take part and even harangued those that participated. It was a disgrace.

"UKIP knows that had Thatcher, and more like her, been in power in the early 1990s we would never be in the EU mess we find ourselves now. On a day when the ECHR refuses to extradite a terrorist to the USA for trial, on human rights grounds, our very own local council refuses to acknowledge a great leader. What is happening to a once great nation I ask?"


16th August 2013