Lib Dems' fury at mayor lunch snub
11:54am Tuesday 22nd May 2012 in Gwent news
NEWPORT’S council leader has apologised for any “hurt” or “confusion”
caused over invitations to the city’s mayor-making lunch today.
Ringland Liberal Democrat candidate Raymond Lord, claimed comments made by Labour councillor Bob Bright in Friday’s Argus, which suggested members of all political parties were invited to the event, had ruined his reputation among residents.
Mr Lord demanded an apology and wanted it made clear that he and his colleague Paul Jordan, who also ran in Ringland, had not been invited to what he described as a “disgraceful waste of public money.”
In an e-mail to Cllr Bright, copied to the Argus, he wrote: “This has blackened my name with local people and I have also had to take unnecessary banter from work colleagues as well because of it.
“My integrity and credibility has been called into doubt because of this and to say I am annoyed is quite an understatement.”
In a statement sent through the council’s communications manager Jonathan Hollins, Cllr Bright, confirmed the pair weren’t invited.
He said requests for names were sent only to Labour candidates, former council leader Matthew Evans and retiring Ringland Lib Dem councillor John Fortey.
Six Labour candidates chose to accept the invitations, filling empty spaces and negating the need to extend further, cross-party invitations.
He wrote: “I apologise for any confusion around the invitation process, and can confirm that you and Paul Jordan did not receive invitations, as the permitted number of guests had been reached.
“You would, of course, have been welcome if further spaces were available.”
He added the ceremony, which will inaugurate John Guy as mayor for 2012/13, was not only valuable, but a value-for-money celebration for the city of Newport.
As previously reported, Conservative Cllr Evans criticised the decision to invite candidates as a waste of taxpayer’s money and turned down extra invites extended to his party.