A council is investigating a number of complaints it received after a Labour councillor allegedly shouted “have I slept with you?” at a female audience member during an “extraordinary” meeting in Hartlepool.
Councillor Kevin Cranney became involved in an exchange during Thursday’s Hartlepool council meeting after he was faced by shouting from some members of the audience in the town hall.
Cllr Cranney allegedly addressed one woman in the audience and asked if he had slept with her when the discussion became increasingly heated, The Hartlepool Post reports.
Cllr Cranney defended his remarks during the meeting as “off the cuff” and claimed the woman was being particularly confrontational.
He told The Independent: “My comments were used in the tone of “what’s your problem’, because the woman was vicious. There is a video where they are saying ‘I wish you were dead, I’d dance on your grave’ - it was really awful, especially coming from the public. My remark was off the cuff, sort of as if to say: ‘why are you irate with me?’”
The Independent could not obtain the video footage he was referring to.
When asked if he believed his comments were sexist or inappropriate considering his position as a councillor, he responded: “If you listen to the video and the things they were saying to me - that’s polite.
"They should be locked up for the remarks they were making. There were two or three really having a go, but within the auditorium there was a number of people who come to meetings just to shout at me and at the council – they are part of the ‘hate mob’.
“It was just a mob shipped in where basically anything the labour group say they are against. This woman was vicious in attacking me. I tried to ignore it but the obscenities – she was saying she would dance on my grave."
Cllr Cranney was reportedly challenged about the reported comment as both the audience and fellow council members left the building and responded with,“I don’t need your p***y votes”, according to The Post.
However, Cllr Cranney denied making this comment. He said: “I was accosted by a number of irate residents who were effing and blinding, and saying ‘we aren’t voting for you’ – and I said I don’t want your ‘pity’ votes.”
When asked if he had tried to approach the members of the audience since the altercation, he replied: “They won’t speak to me.”
A Hartlepool Council spokesman confirmed it has received a number of email complaints in relation to comments allegedly made by Cllr Cranney following last Thursday’s “extraordinary council meeting”.
He said: “These are currently being dealt with by Chief Solicitor Peter Devlin in his role as the authority’s Monitoring Officer and in line with arrangements for handling complaints adopted by councils under the terms of the Localism Act.Reuse content