Leader stays silent over 'misquote'

THE new Tory leader of North Somerset Council was staying tight-lipped this week despite claiming he was misquoted in last week's Weston & Somerset

THE new Tory leader of North Somerset Council was staying tight-lipped this week despite claiming he was misquoted in last week's Weston & Somerset Mercury. At a full council meeting held at the Town Hall, Councillor Nigel Ashton claimed: "I was misquoted by the Weston Mercury and I have three witnesses to prove it."Cllr Ashton was referring to the Mercury's front page story last week, headlined: "Tories to pull plug on sea wall?"The Mercury left messages on Mr Ashton's mobile phone and at his house on Wednesday asking him to clarify his remarks, but the new leader of North Somerset Council chose to speak through the authority's press office. He simply said: "The headline was misleading." The Tory council leader did not elaborate on his claim that he was misquoted. Responding to his reply, editor Judi Kisiel said: "Mr Ashton has appointed a working party to report back directly to him regarding alternatives to the sea wall, and at a press conference called by him after the Conservatives won a massive majority after the local elections, he said 'The proposed six foot sea wall strikes me as pretty daft'."Taking these two things together it is perfectly reasonable to believe there are question marks over the future of the sea wall."Had Mr Ashton looked a bit closer at last week's front page, before making unsubstantiated and slanderous accusations, he would have found a question mark at the end of the headline."If Cllr Ashton cannot substantiate his allegations of being misquoted the Mercury will be asking for a public apology.


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