Barnoldswick councillor claims smear campaign in Nazi jibe row

An official complaint has been lodged against Coun. David Whipp after he said the actions of West Craven Conservatives were

An official complaint has been lodged against Coun. David Whipp after he said the actions of West Craven Conservatives were "equivalent to Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany" during a council meeting.

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A Barnoldswick councillor who described actions of West Craven Conservatives “as equivalent to Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany” has defended the comment.

Coun. David Whipp was formally reported to Pendle Council’s monitoring officer by 18-year-old Coun. Lyle Davy after the comment was made in a row between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives over the make up of the premises improvement grants sub-committee at Pendle Council’s July West Craven Committee meeting.

Writing to Pendle Council’s Deputy Chief Executive Philip Mousdale, Coun. Davy described the comment as “deeply offensive” and said Coun. Whipp’s behaviour had fallen foul of the councillors’ code of conduct in terms of respecting others.

But Coun. Whipp says this is all part of a “cooked up campaign” by the Conservatives aimed at smearing him.

In Coun. Davy’s complaint, he wrote: “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.

“I urge you to look into this matter under the Code of Conduct Procedure for Dealing with Complaints.”

However, Coun. Whipp said: “Apart from press enquiries, I haven’t heard of this from Pendle’s monitoring officer.

“I remarked that the secret, single party, panel set up by the Tories to decide on town centre grants was like the way Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia did things at both the June and July meetings of the West Craven Area Committee. At neither meeting was this challenged.

“For almost two decades, the area committee has worked in an inclusive way; the grants panel has always been all party.

“The first time the Tories get an overall majority, they chuck that out of the window and impose a four member panel composed entirely of Conservatives.

“After I insisted that the decision was reconsidered and reiterated the remarks I’d made in June, the Tories agreed that it wasn’t right and agreed to include a Liberal member.”

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