Conservative councillor David Fouweather, leader of the opposition, said: “The mayor is the first citizen – he is our representative. It’s a pretty poor show, really. He should be there to greet Mr Cameron and Mr Obama. He should be there in preference to the leader of the council. I would be surprised if Bob Bright wasn’t going.”
He criticised the decision to delete Mayor Evan’s tweets as an attempt to “stifle debate”.
A spokeswoman for Newport City Council said she could not advise whether a council representative would be greeting delegates as Number 10 Downing Street issued the invitations.
A spokeswoman for Newport City Council said “The party greeting world leaders at the Celtic Manor Resort on Thursday and the dignitaries attending the school visits were all invited by No. 10 Downing Street.
"The council had no involvement whatsoever in who should be invited as they are not civic functions. However, the Mayor has been invited and will be attending a reception at the Celtic Manor Resort hosted by HRH Prince Charles on Thursday evening, as is customary with Royal visits.
“The personal tweets from Councillor Evans were removed because it was inappropriate for the mayor’s council twitter account to be used in this way. The account should not be used to express personal opinions either about Nato visits or any other matters.”
She added the council had not suspended the mayoral account, adding: “We haven’t been aware that it has been unavailable.”
Matthew Evans said that his official mayoral Twitter account was temporarily out of action this afternoon.
He would not be drawn on whether he thought the council had suspended the @mayorofnewport account, telling the Argus to ask the council whether this was the case.
He said: “I think it was temporarily out of order. I’m still having my words with the council to try to resolve it. There seems to have been a problem. At the moment I’m tweeting from Matthew Evans [his personal Twitter account].
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m just going to go on with my job. I have got important things to do, to raise the profile of the city and raise money for charity. I’m going to get clarification from the council – I think there’s a disagreement of what the Twitter account is there for.”
He said he was “not sure” of the reason his account was briefly out of action this afternoon but added: “The council does have control over it.”
The Twitter account is currently online.
Newport City Council has been approached for a comment.
THE mayor of Newport will not welcome Barack Obama or David Cameron to the Nato summit - and mayor Matthew Evans said the council had deleted tweets he wrote describing his disappointment at not greeting delegates.
Matthew Evans said: “I can confirm that I will not have a role in welcoming delegates to the host city, or to any of the schools they might visit. I heard that this morning – I was told the mayor would not have any involvement in events going on.”
After he took to the mayor’s official Twitter feed to tell people, his tweets later disappeared from the timeline.
Cllr Evans said: “My tweets have been removed by the council. They just told me there were removing it because it’s not the council’s position. The account is owned by the council.”
But he said: “I only stated the facts. I think they are upset about the retweets. I thought the whole point of engaging with people is they are entitled to express their opinions. It wasn’t my decision to remove the tweets.
“I’m assuming the decision [for the mayor not to have a role] was probably made at Number 10. I’m understandably disappointed not to have the opportunity to welcome them, particularly as they’re visiting schools within the city. Ultimately, I’m a figurehead. Life will go on and I shall continue with other engagements.
“If we have a royal visit or anything else to the city or council premises, there’s a clear protocol and the mayor, as Newport’s first citizen, is invited. But I suppose this is no ordinary event. These things are decided at a much higher level than me. I’m here to promote the city and do what I can.”
As the official mayor’s Twitter account was set up by the council, Cllr Evans said he supposed the council had a right to remove the tweets.
He added: “To be honest, I have got better things to do than spend my time having disputes with the council.
“The last few months I have lost track of the amount of people who have said, ‘I’m sure you will be looking forward to welcoming delegates.’ I was just stating facts.”
He would still be welcoming Prince Charles at a reception at the Celtic Manor tomorrow evening, he said.