A councillor has denied making a rude gesture to a public speaker during a York council meeting.
Cllr Nigel Ayre, executive member for finance and performance at the council, made a gesture while Tom Franklin of the York Green Party was speaking about plans to dual the ring road.
It happened early on in the executive meeting last night (Thursday).
The meeting was webcast live, but the video has since been removed from YouTube. Here’s the moment of controversy: judge for yourself.
Labour group leader Pete Kilbane was sitting next to Cllr Ayre at the meeting. He accused him of making “an obscene gesture” when Mr Franklin was talking, and said he was appalled.
“I was shocked but not surprised because Coun Ayre is often dismissive of people’s views that he disagrees with – but not normally so graphically,” Cllr Kilbane said.
But Cllr Ayre denied all wrongdoing. ““Following the speaker over running on their allotted time and continuing to speak even after the chair’s intervention, I checked my watch and physically indicated to the chair to cut the speaker off.
“For the Labour Leader to misrepresent this commonly used gesture for cheap political point scoring, launching yet another unfounded personal attack, is further indication of a party absolutely devoid of policy and ideas.”
Additional reporting: Joe Cooper – Local Democracy Reporter