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Why we walked out of the Council meeting

We have reported on this website the fact that Liberal Democrat members walked out of the Council meeting on 24th July. This article is to help our readers to understand why this action was taken.

During a Liberal Democrat sponsored debate on Community Cohesion a Labour councillor openly called Liberal Democrats racists and accused us of condoning the holocaust, of being the kind of people who would stand by and watch the concentration camps being built, of refusing to fight the fascist BNP.

Such allegations are disproved by the vigour and commitment with which we have stood resolutely by our principles over the years, even at times when those principles have been unpopular.

In my 40 years in active politics in Luton no-one has ever offered me gross and personal insults like these and no-one who understand Liberal Democrats will be surprised that I and my colleagues are deeply offended and hurt.

We left the Council Chamber as the debate descended into chaos and the behaviour of some Labour members was so bad it seriously embarrassed even some of their own colleagues. Several of them said so after the meeting. We are not prepared to sit there and listen to Labour councillors accusing us of being racists and accused us of condoning the holocaust, of being the kind of people who would stand by and watch the concentration camps being built, of refusing to fight the fascist BNP.

We all hope that a way can be found to restore at least some kind of sense into the way Council meetings are conducted but no-one should doubt the depth of offence and hurt sincerely felt by me personally and by my Liberal Democrat colleagues over these outrageous slurs.


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