As the drama of yesterday’s sudden acquittal of local blogger Julian Saunders began to recede, Labour councillors in the West Midlands borough of Sandwell gathered for the ‘Labour group’ meeting ahead of tonight’s full council meeting.
Saunders’ court case was not the only one this week involving Sandwell council – Councillor Bob Piper is scheduled to appear before Walsall Magistrates tomorrow to face two charges of racially aggravated harassment against Saunders and another local. Piper was recently suspended by the Labour Party as a result.
But while councillors were advised of the suspension of a local Labour employee over social media posts, they were not informed of Piper’s suspension – even though under normal procedure that suspension should mean Piper’s removal as chair of the council’s licensing committee and termination of any other committee positions.
Locals have described the different treatment of the two suspensions as ‘a clear case of double standards‘ and a ‘blatant disregard for proper practice‘.
Labour council leader Steve Eling and chief whip John Edwards refused to comment when contacted by the SKWAWKBOX.
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