Accusations of lies and skulduggery

15:00 16 February 2011

ACCUSATIONS of lies and skulduggery have been made by angry North Somerset Conservatives after two top Tories were removed from their posts after ‘serious allegations’ were made against them.

At a heated meeting of the North Somerset Conservative Association on Friday, members condemned the treatment of the association’s former president and North Somerset councillor Carl Francis-Pester and former chairman Christopher Allcock.

Earlier this month, they were removed from their positions after accusations were made regarding the purchase and resale of a minibus and the hiring of a room at the Nailsea Conservative office.

On Friday, many supporters of the pair shouted down area chairman, Peter Wright, who tried to explain the reasons behind their removal and Richard Chalk, sent from the party’s central office in London, did not fare much better.

Councillor Don Cameron from Portishead was at Friday’s meeting and has accused the association of lies and skulduggery. He said: “It was apparent to all that these reasons were spurious and the real reason for the draconian measures was not being disclosed. Many members expressed disgust they should be lied to.”

Some have speculated the complaints were made to scupper the chances of Cllr Francis-Pester, a North Somerset Councillor for Easton-in-Gordano and a Clevedon town councillor, regaining his seat in May’s local elections.

Cllr Francis-Pester said: “I wouldn’t want credit who ever made the complaint with such organisational prowess.

“What looked like an easy hit initially has now become a lot more complicated for them.”

At Friday’s meeting, members refused to ratify a list of candidates for the forthcoming elections when it became clear Cllr Francis-Pester’s name had been omitted.

Cllr Francis-Pester has since confirmed he will stand for re-election if allowed and he hopes to resume his duties as North Somerset Council’s executive member for the environment by the end of this week after temporarily stepping down.

However, Cllr Francis-Pester has been told the unitary authority leader Councillor Nigel Ashton has approached a Portishead resident to ask if they would contest Cllr Francis-Pester’s seat in May’s elections.

Since the complaints were first made against Cllr Francis-Pester and Mr Allcock, the Tory association has been accused of acting unprofessionally. The person who made the accusations has also remained anonymous.

During Friday’s meeting, Cllr Ashton and fellow North Somerset councillor Felicity Baker were asked if they had made the complaint. Both said no.

Cllr Francis-Pester said: “In a court of law your accuser will be made public. Clearly we are not going to get that.

“What is of great concern is that we are not fully aware of what it is we are actually answering.

“Whatever one thinks about the substance of the issues, clearly the matter has been processed with a degree of ineptitude very rarely seen.”

Cllr Francis-Pester and Mr Allcock believe they have fully explained their decisions and hope the matter has been resolved. Despite this, it is not yet known if and when the men will be reinstated by the association.

* Cllr Ashton and the Conservative association could not be contacted in relation to this story.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Weston Mercury visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Weston Mercury staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Weston Mercury account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

The area around Sandford Road and Mendip Road was cordened off for several hours for police enquiries.

A 21-YEAR-OLD man remains in hospital after he was stabbed in broad daylight in a Weston-super-Mare street yesterday (Wednesday).

Read more
An ambulance was called to the Bournville estate.

A TWO-YEAR-OLD girl has been rushed to hospital with head injuries after falling out of a window in Weston-super-Mare this morning (Thursday).

Read more
The number of unemployment benefit claims in Weston has fallen.

THE number of people claming benefits for unemployment in Weston-super-Mare has fallen by more than a third in the past year.

Read more
Roman catholics from the Mendip parish of Cheddar held their first summer garden party at Sidcot. Ready for the fancy dress parade are Susan and Karen Phillips, Mark Heigham and Ann and Richard Taylor.

POST Office safes were blown open with explosives by thieves, and Weston’s water became undrinkable this week in 1965.

Read more
James Mortimer completed a tandem skydive for Weston Hospicecare.

A WESTON man raised more than £500 for Weston Hospicecare by completing a ‘once in a lifetime’ 15,000ft tandem skydive.

Read more
Coastguard.

COASTGUARD rescue teams were called to Weston-super-Mare this morning (Thursday) after reports of a woman stuck in the mud.

Read more
Nick Short  cancer survivor who is walking 10 miles to raise money for Macmillan .

A Worle man who is recovering from cancer has completed a 10-mile walk for Macmillan Cancer Support – a year to the day after he received his life-changing diagnosis.

Read more
Secret Worlds Spines and Shells open day, Michelle Skinner.

VISITORS of all ages flocked to a Somerset animal charity’s open weekend.

Read more
Lions Real Ale Festival.

THOUSANDS of people enjoyed beer, cider and live music at Weston Lions Club’s Real Ale Festival.

Read more
DCC Gareth Morgan.

THE temporary chief constable at Avon and Somerset Constabulary is retiring after leading the force since its previous chief was suspended.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition today E-edition


Somerset's trusted business finder