Fury over 'ignored' complaints over 'sick' police joke
THE leader of the Labour group on Erewash Borough Council has claimed that complaints against a councillor are being ignored.
Alex Phillips has called on Tory councillor David Stephenson to stand down after he made a joke about two police officers shot dead in Greater Manchester last week.
Earlier this week, Mr Stephenson said: "If you get 100 points for shooting one police woman and 200 points for shooting two police women, how many do you get for shooting a lawyer?"
Mr Phillips claims that people who have written to the council to complain about Mr Stephenson's conduct aren't being listened to.
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He said: "I am outraged to learn that complaints from members of the public about David Stephenson will be ignored.
"The reason given is that they were merely complaining about things that they had heard about in the media – how else could they be expected to know?
"People who have complained will be horrified to learn that he will now not even be required to explain himself at a council meeting."
The council says it is yet to decide whether to investigate further.
And Mr Stephenson said: "It was a tasteless comment or sick joke that someone makes off the cuff for which I apologise."
He was removed as a cabinet member by council leader Chris Corbett.
Mr Corbett said Mr Stephenson had been removed from the list of approved Conservative candidates and would not be allowed to stand again.
However, he will remain as a councillor for Little Hallam until the next election.
Mr Phillips wants to see Mr Stephenson resign. He said: "Every right-thinking person has been disgusted by David Stephenson's comments and the fact that he says that he has been treated harshly. If he were truly sorry, he would resign his seat."
The Labour group will be encouraging people to sign a petition this weekend at the White Lion Square car park in Ilkeston calling for Mr Stephenson to step down.
Council chief executive Jeremy Jaroszek said: "The council can confirm that it has received three complaints from the general public and a further complaint from a councillor."
The council's complaints procedure would decide whether the decide whether the matter should be formally investigated.