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Cllr Swifts Standards Commission hearing to be livestreamed
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TOPIC: Cllr Swifts Standards Commission hearing to be livestreamed

Cllr Swifts Standards Commission hearing to be livestreamed 1 year, 6 months ago #1

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Due to the restrictions on travel in and out of level 3 council areas, the Standards Commission has decided to hold the Hearing about Cllr Swift, on 13 November, online.

It will be livestreamed on our website and a link to watch the Hearing will appear on the following page on the day:

www.standardscommissionscotland.org.uk/cases/case-list . The Hearing will start at 9:30.

Re: Cllr Swifts Standards Commission hearing to be livestreamed 1 year, 6 months ago #2

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Cllr Swift has been found to have breached the Cllrs Code of Conduct.

Suspended from attending full council meetings for one month.

Re: Cllr Swifts Standards Commission hearing to be livestreamed 1 year, 6 months ago #3

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enuOArEfqGo

For those that did not watch the hearing Cllr Bamforth accused Cllr Swift of calling her "Wee, Fat and Ugly". A charge he denied. I would suggest the next time, they manage to have a full council meeting in the chamber they should play this version as an entrance for them both.

Re: Cllr Swifts Standards Commission hearing to be livestreamed 1 year, 6 months ago #4

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Published The Extra On Line -

News People

East Renfrewshire Councillor suspended over claims he called SNP representative a “wee, fat, ugly liar”

Tory councillor Jim Swift has been suspended after he allegedly called an SNP representative a “wee, fat, ugly liar”.

By Drew Sandelands, Local Democracy Reporter

Wednesday, 18th November 2020, 9:31 am

The East Renfrewshire councillor launched a “tirade of abuse” at Caroline Bamforth following an argument at a budget meeting, the Standards Commission for Scotland heard.

Ms Bamforth told a hearing she had been “very threatened” by his actions. The incident took place in the council offices on February 28, the day after East Renfrewshire Council set its annual budget.

Mr Swift said he had been “upset” after Ms Bamforth made serious accusations during the meeting.

He claimed he had called the SNP councillor a “small Nat” and an “ugly liar”.

The Commission found he breached the Code of Conduct for Councillors and banned him from attending full council meetings for one month.

Giving evidence to the Commission, Ms Bamforth said she was on her own when Mr Swift arrived at the council’s headquarters.

“He became incandescent is the only way I can describe it,” she said. “It was the tone of the voice I found more intimidating.”

She claimed he said: “You wee, fat, ugly liar. That’s the second time you’ve lied about me. I’m going to get you.”

Margaret Pettigrew, a secretary to the council leader, who has now retired, witnessed the incident but did not hear what was said.

She told the hearing: “He was so angry. He was waving his arms about. It made me take a step back.

“I was very shocked. I’ve never seen that anger – it looked aggressive.”

Ms Bamforth said she had asked if her office could be moved away from Mr Swift’s following the incident.

She described the discussion at the council meeting on February 27 as “robust”.

At the meeting, the SNP councillor said Mr Swift had “considered, or opined, that we should set a cap on spending on the learning disabled” during an Integrated Joint Board seminar.

“As someone else mentioned to you on the day, the word eugenics comes into mind,” she added.

She later said Mr Swift had a “vested interest” in the amount of money spent on medicine as “a drugs sales rep”.

Mr Swift said he was looking at how expensive packages of care, not just for the learning disabled, could be reduced as the council was facing “harsh, brutal cuts”.

He was “not advocating” for more money to be spent on medicine, he added.

The councillor said he does not work for a pharmaceutical company and a vested interest was a “serious accusation”.

He said the council has “robust debate” but “no one has been that rude to anyone else before”.

Mr Swift accepted his comments the next day were “demeaning” but said he was “deeply frustrated”.

He said Ms Bamforth had told ugly lies and he meant she was “an inconsequential Nat in a small council”, adding: “You’re not the First Minister of Scotland.”

Ms Bamforth told the hearing: “I did not accuse him of eugenics, I pointed out someone else had used that phrase.

“I don’t see this as relevant to Cllr Swift’s behaviour the following day.”

Tricia Stewart, who chaired the hearing panel, said: “The Commission considers that councillors should be able to challenge their colleagues in a constructive, respectful and courteous manner without resorting to personal attacks or being offensive or intimidating.”

The panel did not consider a more serious sanction as it was a “one-off incident” and the complainer had “falsely implied” Mr Swift supported eugenics.
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