Handforth Parish Councillor on 'Jackie Weaver Zoom call' steps down

Handforth Parish Councillor who insisted Jackie Weaver ‘read the standing orders’ steps down

  • Vice-chairman Aled Brewerton has quit the council, it emerged yesterday 
  • Comes days after chairman Brian Tolver resigned, citing the criticism online 
  • Mrs Weaver had been drafted in as a temporary clerk to referee authority  

She became an overnight sensation for her calm handling of irate councillors on a Zoom call.

But if Jackie Weaver is asked to preside over any more Handforth Parish Council meetings in future they could be much more sedate affairs.

One of the men who infamously shouted at Mrs Weaver during the remote video call – vice-chairman Aled Brewerton – has quit the council, it emerged yesterday.

It comes days after chairman Brian Tolver resigned, citing the criticism he had received for his behaviour during the online meeting.

If Jackie Weaver is asked to preside over any more Handforth Parish Council meetings in future they could be much more sedate affairs 

Mrs Weaver had been drafted in as a temporary clerk to referee the divided Cheshire authority last December.

But some senior members of the council took against her leading of the meeting. Mr Tolver, 74, had angrily told her: ‘You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver! No authority at all!’

When Mrs Weaver then kicked him off the Zoom call, Mr Brewerton, 36, began berating her and shouted: ‘Read the standing orders, read them and understand them!’

He was subsequently also removed from the meeting.

Millions shared the clip on social media which made an overnight star of Mrs Weaver. Mr Brewerton, a solicitor, has not given his reasons for quitting. But a statement posted on the Handforth Parish Council website said the vacancy would now be filled either by co-option or by-election.

One of the men who infamously shouted at Mrs Weaver during the remote video call – vice-chairman Aled Brewerton (left) – has quit the council, it emerged yesterday

The pair’s departure from the authority comes as the High Court yesterday also ruled that meetings will not be allowed to be held remotely after temporary measures brought in due to the Covid pandemic expire next month. As part of the Coronavirus Act 2020, mandatory local authority meetings could be conducted remotely from April 2020 until May 7 this year.

Hertfordshire County Council brought a case against the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to have the measures extended.

But judges dismissed the claim, saying new primary legislation would be needed to extend the use of remote meetings.

It comes days after chairman Brian Tolver (pictured) resigned, citing the criticism he had received for his behaviour during the online meeting

They said such meetings would otherwise need to ‘take place at a single, specified geographical location’ where attendance meant ‘physically going to it’.

Despite her own harrowing experience, Mrs Weaver took to social media last night to criticise the court ruling.

She tweeted: ‘Disappointing does not cover it! Please continue to put pressure on MPs, ministers, anyone who will listen – these meetings just must be allowed to continue!’

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