Worcester parliamentary candidate in Twitter row with former council leader

Councillor Joy Squires, Worcester's Labour parliamentary candidate

Councillor Joy Squires, Worcester's Labour parliamentary candidate

First published in News Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

WORCESTER'S Labour parliamentary candidate is embroiled in an ugly Twitter controversy - with a former city council leader accusing her of spreading an "outright lie" about him.

Councillor Joy Squires has left a message on the social networking site saying the Conservatives in Worcester are intent on selling the historic Guildhall.

It was left on the network three weeks ago during a full council meeting and names Simon Geraghty, the former Tory council leader, saying he'd be "delighted" with the move.

During the full council meeting the Conservatives tried to get the Labour administration to agree a plan to try and flog public buildings.

Cllr Geraghty then told the room under the blueprint "crown jewels" including the Guildhall would never be up for sale because they are far too historic, repeating his point twice.

Cllr Squires' full tweet, which appeared as the debate unfolded, said: "Tory leader Simon Geraghty says he's delighted to be proposing sell-off of council buildings including Guildhall!"

The tweet has been on her page ever since, and was still there last night.

Cllr Geraghty, who is not on Twitter, says he had no idea it had appeared on the site until last week, and he's now been approached about it several times.

Cllr Squires' Twitter feed is actively followed by 885 people including key public figures across Worcestershire, voluntary groups, teachers, police and health workers, hospitals, chief fire officers, traders and hundreds of potential voters who live across the city.

To make it worse the message was then re-tweeted by Labour Councillor Jabba Riaz, who defected from the Tories last October and has 825 followers.

She says the tweet was made at the start of his speech, when he had yet to offer any guarantees about protecting the Guildhall.

Cllr Geraghty said: "This is an absolutely misleading statement - it's a straightforward lie.

"We were very clear that night that our plan did not, and would never include the Guildhall, it's a public asset we want to protect.

"I specifically went out of my way to be clear in case anything malicious was dragged up about it, so it's quite shocking to see it on Twitter.

"As a parliamentary candidate I would have thought it'd be beholden upon her to hold good standards."

Cllr Squires said the tweet was posted at the start of his speech, when he had not said the Guildhall would be protected.

"As my Twitter feed shows, it is very rare for me to tweet from council meetings," she said.

"The fact that I did tweet on this occasion, at the start of Cllr Geraghty’s speech, shows how shocked I was that he gave the impression that he included the Guildhall in his proposal to sell off council owned buildings."

She believes he was told about her tweet during the meeting, which led to him "very strenuously" denying the building would be in danger.

Comments (4)

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3:46pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Marant says...

Typical underhanded Liebour smear campaign.
Typical underhanded Liebour smear campaign. Marant
  • Score: 3

11:41am Wed 19 Mar 14

Hwicce says...

Ah Twitter, the medium for Twits.
Ah Twitter, the medium for Twits. Hwicce
  • Score: 2

12:27pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Doogie 46 says...

Tweeters always think they are being very clever - you would think the Sally Bercow disaster would have been sufficient warning!!!
Tweeters always think they are being very clever - you would think the Sally Bercow disaster would have been sufficient warning!!! Doogie 46
  • Score: 1

7:00pm Thu 27 Mar 14

worcester man67 says...

Obviously from the above report In which Cllr Squires said the tweet was posted at the start of his speech, when he had not said the Guildhall would be protected. "As my Twitter feed shows, it is very rare for me to tweet from council meetings," she said. Well it would be nice to see the Cllr Squires paying her full attention to the meeting and not spreading idle title tattle. Yet another greasy performance
Obviously from the above report In which Cllr Squires said the tweet was posted at the start of his speech, when he had not said the Guildhall would be protected. "As my Twitter feed shows, it is very rare for me to tweet from council meetings," she said. Well it would be nice to see the Cllr Squires paying her full attention to the meeting and not spreading idle title tattle. Yet another greasy performance worcester man67
  • Score: 0

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