I thought that the Winter Gardens 2007 'issue' had settled until I received the 'statement' below from a source. As readers will know, I have tried to report The Standards Boards findings with 'clarity' and it was good to see the IOTG clarify its initial report lastFriday.
My conclusion , for what it is worth, was that Cllr Clive Hart had been an innocent party in the 'fracas' and had serious damage done to his reputation and integrity by firstly, the dubious complaint to The Standards Board and secondly the inability of the media to report clearly on the Standards Board findings. I am therefore happy to show you his statement.
Friend / colleague
Up until the last week of April Cllr. Ezekiel had maintained a series of spurious and malicious allegations against me regarding the Mayors Retiring Ball. All were exhaustively investigated by the CPS, the Police and the Standards Board and thrown out. I did absolutely nothing wrong and furthermore I believe that I behaved absolutely impeccably in what were extremely difficult circumstances. I was loudly verbally abused across a room in an attempt to goad me into a fight and I turned and walked away.
Then on KMFM radio on 29/04/2008 Cllr. Ezekiel clearly admitted he had use very bad language at the Mayor’s Retiring Ball and apologised UNRESERVEDLY to both Cllr. Clark and myself by name.
However, despite this, he now continues to make despicable accusations through our local press in an effort to taint us.
Please therefore find below my personal response to his wildly differing claims made through different local newspapers.
Cllr. Ezekiel said there wasn’t an independent witness who heard him swear and yet he has subsequently said he has apologised to the staff at the Winter Gardens.
Isle of Thanet Gazette (02/05/2008)
Cllr. Ezekiel says he muttered f***ing t***er under his breath. I can assure you he was SHOUTING. I was some distance away across the room and I heard his disgusting language myself.
Cllr Ezekiel also says he was provoked. This is yet another spurious and malicious allegation which was investigated by the CPS and the Police and thrown out. Please be clear, Cllr. Ezekiel’s claim that Cllr. Clark broke the code of conduct at the Ball was not upheld by the Standards Board. Indeed the report states quite clearly that even if Cllr. Clark had behaved as Cllr. Ezekiel alleged (and he did not) his behaviour would not have been sufficiently disrespectful to breach the code.
Kent on Sunday (04/05/2008).
Any suggestion whatsoever that I somehow ‘ambushed’ Cllr. Ezekiel is completely and utterly ludicrous! Firstly, over the past year this particularly spurious and malicious accusation made by the Conservative TDC leader in an attempt to cover up his own appalling behaviour has been rigorously investigated by the CPS, the Police and the Standards Board and thrown out by all three. Secondly, at all times I was simply too far away from the incident and thirdly, I was enjoying a lovely evening in the company of my cherished wife whom I would never put in any danger (unlike Cllr. Ezekiel whose poor wife had to physically restrain him).
Furthermore, following the same year of exhaustive investigations the Standards Board report clearly states that absolutely no evidence was found of any failure on my part to comply with the Code of Conduct.
The fact is that based to a significant extent on his own evidence Cllr. Ezekiel was found to have been offensive and discourteous and my only involvement in the whole incident was to be loudly and disgustingly verbally abused and goaded across a room by the Conservative leader who had already done the same thing to the Mayor and his Town Sergeant at what was a prestigious civic event.
I can only describe Cllr. Ezekiel’s behaviour like that of a yob who had been propping up the bar for too long, and at the end of the evening wanted to fight.
Thank you for your time – I’m sorry but I hope you understand I simply had to put the record straight.
(Cllr. Clive Hart)