E-Mail Exchange re: Central Office Contents Page
Original Message from Cllr KEEGAN

> Sent: 17 January 2002 13:56

> Subject: Conservative Values

At the Group Meeting on 8 December 2001 the Leader stated that he had "spoken to Central Office" and that he had their full support for the action of expelling Cllr Murphy.

I wrote to the Party Chairman after that meeting and I have now had a reply from Gavin Barwell, Deputy Director, Field Operations Dept, - 020 7222 9000 - who assures me that the Leader did not speak to anyone at Central Office and that Central Office have no powers to intervene in Group Affairs. His personal opinion is that the should have referred the matter to the Standards Committee - which is what I moved on the day of the meeting.

To re-iterate; Cllr Burns was wrong to claim that he had the support of Central Office and thereby misled the Group.

The Minutes which have been issued for next week's Council Meeting indicate that Cllr Murphy has been stripped of all Committees; it cannot be right that an elected Councillor is not able to represent his electors on a reasonable selection of Committees.

I think this vendetta against Cllr Murphy has gone too far and I do not believe that it is any part of Conservative Values that someone is thrown out of a Group without the ability to represent his case, where the Leader misleads the Group about the support of Central Office, and where the Group is then asked to display to the electorate before an election that we do not believe an elected member has any rights whatsoever to speak in Committee.

If you agree with my views can you please e-mail me to confirm that you would support another meeting to hear this matter fairly. I shall not release your name without your express approval. (Imagine having to put such a sentence in a Western Democracy!)

The Reply from Cllr Burns

> Sent: 17 January 2002 16:42

> Subject: RE: Conservative Values

Please disregard all of Keegan's comments in his e-mail to you. He and I have exchanged views on the basis that he, apparently, is a lone supporter of the " Murphy cause". It is, however, painfully obvious that whilst Murphy is conducting the guerilla operations Keegan is attempting a frontal offensive. Can I immediately cancel out Keegan's inexactitudes?

I have never claimed the "support" of Central Office. What I have said is that I have "consulted" them throughout as called for in our Group rules. They have confirmed that the whole issue is is entirely a matter for the Conservative Group in Macclesfield. Frankly, I would not brook their interference in our affairs.

We cannot keep going over the same ground despite the dying efforts of Murphy and his small group of supporters to cause as much disarray as their pathetic efforts would like to cause.

I would ask you all to continue to support the Group position on Murphy. And that means ignoring Keegan's approach and leaving the matter for me to deal with. Can I repeat? Do not respond to Keegan's request.


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