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(UK) Warks: Uproar over SPED remarks continues

June 1, 2024, (UK) BBC News: Fate of SEND row councillors up to me – leader

A council leader has said the fate of three Tory members under investigation for comments about special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision would be up to her.

Izzi Seccombe, leader of Warwickshire County Council, confirmed a decision on whether the whip would be removed was “for me to consider, reflecting of course on all evidence available”.

The probe was launched following comments made by councillors Jeff Morgan, Brian Hammersley and Clare Golby at a meeting in January.

All three apologised in a statement issued by the authority and have declined to comment any further.

Ms Seccombe’s statement was sent to Councillor Jonathan Chilvers, 51 days after he asked the leader at a meeting in March whether it would be her decision to remove the whip from the three Conservative representatives.

It came after mum Elissa Novak, from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, asked the leader to explain the difference between the complaints procedure of the council and the Tory party.

“To rectify this immediately, I would respectfully ask the leader to confirm whether it is her decision to remove the whip or whether that decision is made by the local group,” she added.

During a discussion about the demand for SEND provision at the meeting in January, Mr Morgan questioned whether some children were “just really badly behaved” and “in need of some form of strict correction”.

Mr Hammersley asked whether there was “something in the water” and Ms Golby referred to social media pages where “families are swapping tips on how to get their children diagnosed”.

The investigation into the three councillors is due to conclude in early June and the council said the number of complaints received was “in the hundreds”.

Ms Seccombe has been approached for further comment.


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