04:20PM, Thursday 25 February 2021
A councillor has apologised for his ‘embarrassing’ outburst at a council meeting – and blamed it on his family dog.
At Tuesday’s budget meeting, Cllr John Baldwin (Lib, Belmont) apologised for his ‘angry comments’ at December’s full council meeting, saying it was directed at his dog, Tito, and not at councillor Ross McWilliams (Con, Cox Green) or other members.
At the December meeting, Cllr McWilliams was highlighting the Royal Borough need to throw out party politics and to stop attacking each other in debates – while praising former Tory councillor Marius Gilmore for his ‘constructive’ conversations in saving the Pinkneys Green youth centre.
During Cllr McWilliams’ speech, Cllr Baldwin intervened, muttering what appeared to be: “You’re doing it now, f****** nut.”
Cllr McWilliams said that the ‘offensive’ comment was a ‘personal attack’ on him and threatened to seek advice from the monitoring officer.
At the beginning of the budget meeting, the mayor of the Royal Borough allowed Cllr Baldwin to issue a statement apologising for his sudden outburst.
Cllr Baldwin said: “I was heard to make to what appeared to some members to be an outburst directed at Cllr McWilliams. That was not my intention at all.
“I had unmuted my microphone to raise a point of order. Just as my study door was opened to let in the family dog, Tito.
“The angry comments you may have heard were aimed at the four-legged miscreants within the Baldwin household and not to council.
“I would like to take this opportunity to apologise directly to Cllr McWilliams for improperly cutting across his remarks as well as any other member who took exception.
“The necessary remedial measures have been taken i.e., a latch on the study door, and I can assure council that there will be no repetition of this unfortunate and embarrassing event.”
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