Penarth Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward) [who is standing as an Independent in the forthcoming elections for the Vale of Glamorgan and Penarth Town Councils] – has hit back at public criticism aimed at him from Cllr Clive Williams – Leader of the newly-formed “Penarth First Independents” group.
Describing Cllr Williams’s attack on him as a “regrettable diatribe” , Cllr Ernest says it was a “lengthy – and highly personal – out-of-character derogatory statement”.
Cllr. Ernest said “I can understand Clive’s understandable concerns about my commenting on a member or members of his group (in fact himself) having had discussions with local members of the Labour Party, but the reality is that Clive told me in person that he had been approached by a Labour colleague(s) about the possibility of his joining the Labour Group.”
Cllr Ernest continues by saying “I can also say that in the last two weeks he [Cllr Williams] had a 30-minute private conversation with a couple of leading Labour councillors, at which he discussed both his own personal and political issues in some depth.”
Cllr Ernest – who like Cllr Williams, is a former Town Mayor of Penarth – says “As such my comments were both accurate and truthful and also raised a matter of some concern to myself, as I would not expect a fellow councillor to launch such a tirade of personal and unfriendly abuse towards me, over what many might consider a fleeting election-time issue.”
In what he says will be his final comment on the matter, Cllr Ernest says ” I make no apology for my original statement which I stand by, and can only put this unwarranted outburst down to Clive’s advancing years, and worry about his own election outcomes. In the meantime may I assure the residents of Plymouth Ward that I continue my campaigning as an Independent with even greater vigour, in my bid to continue representing their best interests following next month’s elections.”