A TEENAGE councillor has accused an East Lancashire political veteran of comparing the actions of Pendle Tories to ‘Nazi Germany’ or ‘Stalinist Russia’.
Eighteen-year-old Conservative Lyle Davy has lodged a formal complaint over Liberal Democrat counclllor David Whipp’s description of their coalition partners on Pendle Council.
He has labelled Coun Whipp’s attack, said to have been made during a West Craven area committee meeting, as ‘deeply, deeply offensive and disgusting’.
But Coun Whipp defended his comments, made after the Tories took up all the places on a town centre improvement grants panel.
The Craven ward councillor, who also represents the district on Lancashire County Council, could now face a conduct investigation by the borough’s deputy chief executive, Philip Mousdale. In a letter to Mr Mousdale, Coun Davy, who represents the neighbouring Coates ward in Barnoldswick, said Coun Whipp had failed to ‘treat people with respect’ in accordance with the authority’s code of conduct.
Coun Davy added: “What Coun Whipp said was deeply, deeply offensive and disgusting. I am a new member to this council, and expected that we would be treated with some degree of respect.
“Being compared to a Nazi was very offensive. To compare me and my colleagues to a party who promoted fascism, were anti-Semitic, believed in racial hierarchy and slaughtered Jews and political opponents is beyond out of order.”
Coun Morris Horsfield said the comments came after Coun Davy and fellow-Tory councillor Jennifer Purcell were nominated alongside two other Conservatives to sit on a town centre improvement grants body.
“He did say we were like Nazis. It is going too far and if you’ve made a mistake like that then you should just apologise,” said Coun Horsfield, an Earby Conservative.
But Coun Whipp said the Conservatives’ attitude towards the grants panel was against the spirit of the area committee, which the Lib Dems controlled until the last borough elections.
He said: “I was determined at the very least that we had some transparency and I commented that the secret single-party panel would not be out of place in Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia.”
Coun Whipp was later given a place on the grants panel after Coun Purcell stepped down.