Drama and confusion in Sandwell as councillor’s trial reinstated

Bob Piper

As the SKWAWKBOX reported on Tuesday, the trial of Sandwell councillor Bob Piper on charges of racially aggravated harassment was called off at the eleventh hour, after Piper accepted a caution a minor charge.

Except he didn’t, apparently – and the trial has now been dramatically reinstated.

One of the men Piper is accused of harassing, demanded on Twitter of a local journalist, who had reported the case after the SKWAWKBOX began enquiries, where he had obtained the information.

But the SKWAWKBOX also spoke to the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on Wednesday – and the CPS also confirmed that a caution had been issued and accepted.

Yet today, everything has changed.

A West Midlands Police spokesperson told the SKWAWKBOX:

The CPS withdrew from court the hearing of the case against Councillor Bob Piper in order for West Midlands Police to provide clarification on elements of the case. The matter will therefore be referred back to the officer in the case prior to a final decision being taken on how then to proceed.

West Midlands Police

SKWAWKBOX comment:

The police’s statement is completely at odds with the CPS’ statement earlier this week. Something odd is going on in Sandwell.

Bob Piper did not respond to a request for comment about the new developments.

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2 responses to “Drama and confusion in Sandwell as councillor’s trial reinstated

  1. Regardless of your views on this case surely all this messing about jeopardises the chance of a fair outcome for either party.

  2. Hi,
    Warley CLP condemns calls for second referendum.
    (Sorry about posting this here but, can find no other way to send you information you may be interested in).
    This is something positive about one of the CLPs in Sandwell and you may wish to use it.

    At its regular GC meeting in January (Thursday 17th) Warley CLP passed a motion criticising the campaign by a small group of MPs for a second referendum. The motion also condemned the attempt by some people in the party to call a special conference to overturn Labour’s current policy on Brexit.

    During the meeting Warley’s MP (John Spellar) told delegates that he “… would not vote for a second referendum.”

    The motion was agreed without any votes against.

    This is the full text of the motion.
    This meeting notes the failure of the Prime Minister to attend the HoC on Monday 7th January to answer an Urgent Question from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who asked for an update on progress made in achieving changes to the withdrawal agreement since the ‘meaningful vote’ was pulled in December. A continuation of the antics of the Prime Minister and the Tory Government in seeking to delay the ‘meaningful’ vote on the deal they have negotiated with the EU.
    We further note the current policy of the Labour Party is
    1) to respect the vote of the 2016 referendum (Election Manifesto commitment General Election 2017) &
    2) to vote against the deal negotiated with the EU if it fails Labour’s six tests, to then table a vote of No Confidence in the Tory Government and call for a General Election (Conference resolution 2018).
    In the event that a General Election cannot be held Labour will then consider all other alternatives (Conference resolution 2018).
    Labour’s policy is driven by the fact that vast numbers of Labour voters supported leaving the EU in the 2016 referendum. The reasons for this are many & diverse, but underlining them is the stark reality that for many of our supporters they do not believe that Europe is working for them. In 2016 the 5 poorest regions in Northern Europe were in the UK (see chart at end of motion).
    We also note that the top 60+ target seats Labour need to win for a clear majority are in areas that voted leave.

    This meeting is therefore disappointed that a small number of Labour MPs are campaigning for a second referendum in opposition to Labour’s current policy. We believe that this undermines the leadership of the party, distracts from the stated aim of working for a General Election and cannot achieve the wishes of the majority of members and supporters to remove the Tories from office and replace them with a Labour Government.
    We are further dismayed to note that there appears to be a campaign to call a special Labour Party Conference to overturn the decision of the 2018 conference. We condemn this premature action as again we believe such action detracts from the party working to secure a General Election.
    This meeting therefore resolves to write to the Jenny Formby (LP General Secretary) the NEC, The PLP and the Leaders Office calling for the NEC and the Whips of the PLP to remind all members of the PLP that they must not work or campaign against LP policy as agreed by conference.

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