A FEMALE Lancashire borough councillor faces a standards hearing tomorrow over calling a male councillor ‘misogynist’ and implying he is sexist.

Pendle Tory Cllr Coun Sarah-Cockburn Price is to appear at a council standards meeting over alleged comments made at two meetings this year towards Lib-Dem Cllr David Whipp.

She accepts she expressed such views, according to a investigation report into whether she had breached the borough's code of conduct in February and March.

Investigators say there is ‘no specific evidence’ to back her opinions about Cllr Whipp and she has never made a formal complaint against him.

The standards investigation was triggered by a complaint from Cllr Whipp, supported by Cllr Tom Whipp.

A report says: “Sarah Cockburn-Price did call David Whipp a misogynist at the policy and resources committee meeting on February 9.

“She did imply David Whipp was a sexist in her comments to him at the council meeting on March 23 by saying ‘perhaps he has a view that I shouldn’t be allowed as a woman to be on the P&R Committee’.”

The report adds:  “Our conclusion is making a public allegation of misogyny and a further allegation of sexism on a subsequent occasion, without justification, amounts to failing to treat a fellow councillor with respect.

“While Sarah Cockburn-Price has sought to justify her remarks, she does so only by making counter-allegations against Cllr Whipp as to heated disagreements they have had in committee and other meetings.”

“She has asserted he is misogynistic without, in our view, providing specific evidence to substantiate that claim. Sarah Cockburn-Price has stated that ‘as the only woman in many of these meetings, I am being singled-out for special treatment’.

“This is not borne out by the evidence in this investigation. Other female councillors spoke at the meetings, without interruption, and Sarah Cockburn-Price herself also spoke at length during the two meetings without interruption, with the one exception.

“We are not aware of any other complaint of sexism or misogyny by any other female councillor, and Sarah Cockburn-Price has not made any formal complaints of this nature against Cllr David Whipp."

The investigation recommends the council consider their next conduct move. It suggests Sarah Cockburn-Price’s actions amount to ‘disrespect’.

The standards report also says an investigating officer attempted to speak to eight witnesses who attended one or both of the February and March meetings.

Three councillors either did not engage with the process or did not attend arranged meetings.

They were Cllr Tom Whipp, on behalf of David Whipp, for one complaint regarding the March 23 meeting, and Cllrs Brian Newman and Kieran McGladdery. who did not respond.

The investigation says witnesses include Cllrs Asjad Mahmood,  Mohammad Hanif, Brian Newman, Mohammed Iqbal, Kevin Salter. Kieran McGladdery, Chris Church, Tom Whipp and David Whipp. along with Cllr Cockburn-Price and council officer Jane Watson.

The standards hearing takes place at Nelson Town Hall from 6pm.