Labour party vows 'cesspool' tweet councillor will be 'reprimanded'

Mike Barrowclough
Mike Barrowclough

A councillor who sparked a storm of anger over comments referring to Blackpool as ‘cesspool’ will face investigation and punishment by his party.

Coun Mike Barrowclough, who represents Rossall on Wyre Council, made the remarks on social media site Twitter in response to a post from The Gazette.
It is understood he has also resigned his candidacy for a seat on Lancashire County Council.

The tweet which sparked outrage

The tweet which sparked outrage

In response to a post about the demolition of the National Savings tower on Sunday, Coun Barrowclough tweeted “Just what’s needed. When are they blowing up the rest of cesspool?”

Having been called out by several members of the public he then went on to say: “It take it from your reply you have never been to Blackpool. I will show you the delights of Central Drive.”

Coun Ruth Duffy, leader of the Labour Group on Wyre Council, today distanced her party from Coun Barrowclough’s remarks.

She made clear his comments were being taken seriously and said Coun Barrowclough would be ‘reprimanded’.

She said: “As leader of the Labour group I was very upset my Mike’s comments.

“They were most out of character. He is an excellent councillor but he should not have made these remarks. This will be dealt with internally and Mike will be reprimanded.

“I cannot say any more about that at this stage. It will not go unpunished. This was totally unacceptable. Mike has said there was no malice behind the remarks but he made them in a public forum.

“Every town has its problems. I applaud the efforts being made by Blackpool Council to improve the town, efforts which are made more difficult by Government cuts.”

Coun Jenny Mein, leader of Labour run Lancashire County Council, told The Gazette she understood Coun Barrowclough had resigned his candidacy for this year’s county council elections, where he was due to stand for the seat of Wyre Rural Central.

She said: “I was not initially aware of what has happened.

“It is extremely foolish and I understand he has withdrawn his candidacy.”

Coun Mein said Coun Barrowclough’s situation was for his local party to handle.

Fleetwood Town Council chairman, Coun Terry Rogers, says Coun Barrowclough was not representing the Fleetwood body when he made the comments.

He said: “I am fully aware of the situation and understand that the Wyre Labour group is dealing with it. Mike knows a mistake has been made but I am satisfied he has not made the comments as a member of Fleetwood Town Council and I don’t feel he has to be chastised by this council.”

“Mike has always been an exemplary councillor.”

Coun Barrowclough apologised for any offence and said:“It’s just banter. I regret what I said and I know once it’s out there it is out there.

“I apologise to the people it may have offended.”