A Tory councillor’s plan to “play dirty” those who had criticised the way the local authority was run has been exposed after his intended victims were accidentally copied in to his email chain.
Scott Harris, a member of Portsmouth Council, singled out a campaigner against domestic violence and another who had asked questions about the Portsmouth leg of the America’s Cup. He wrote: “The elections are coming... Quite frankly it might be a good idea to play dirty this time.”
He went on to say that he was “compiling some stuff” on Shonagh Dillon, chief executive of Aurora New Dawn, a local charity that supports victims of domestic violence. Portsmouth council had come under fire over its plan to cut domestic violence budgets.
He also objected to a question about the sale of tickets for the America’s Cup from Sameen Farouk, an employee of West Sussex council.
Councillor Harris demanded: “Is there any way we could speak to someone who works at West Sussex and inform them what their staff member seems to be doing?”
Portsmouth Council’s city solicitor Michael Lawther said: “We understand letters of apology have been sent by Councillor Harris to those mentioned in his email.”
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