Labour-led council blasted for axeing November 11 parade
A LABOUR-run council has been branded ‘shameful’ for cancelling its Remembrance Day parade on health and safety grounds – even though it funded a Pride march in the summer.
The town council in Barry, South Wales, was attacked by the Welsh Conservative leader for making the decision when it contributed £8,000 towards the Pride celebration three months ago, which included a march.
Councillors decided not to host a Remembrance parade due to ‘new Royal British Legion policy’ that local authorities have to take on extra safety responsibilities for parades after a veteran was injured in 2018. The explanation was blasted as a ‘feeble excuse’ by Andrew RT Davies MP, leader of the Welsh Conservatives.
In a social media post where he revealed the £8,000 grant for Pride, Mr Davies said: ‘ Barry Town Council’s decision to cancel this year’s Remembrance Sunday parade is shameful.
‘And their feeble excuses don’t wash. Remembrance should be a top priority for the council.’
The decision was met with uproar in the town. One resident said: ‘This has taken place for many years, why stop this year?’
Another said it was ‘disgraceful that the council have shown themselves not to be patriotic, or sympathetic to the will of the people.’
Barry Pride, supported by the council, police and local trade unions, included a parade through the town along roads and the seafront, which involved dozens of people waving flags and in fancy dress.
The celebration of the town’s LGBTQ+ residents took place in August and another is planned next year.
Barry Town Council’s Labour leader Bronwen Brooks said the problems affecting Remembrance Day, still more than a week away, could not be resolved in time – but the council was still committed to honouring those who gave their life to freedom. She said: ‘We have worked with Royal British Legion for many years to create a lovely service and will continue to do so, where we are able.
‘We are saddened to have to cancel the parade for 2023, but due to unresolved health and safety considerations, we have to prioritise the safety of the groups, pedestrians, veterans, emergency services, children and staff.’
An outdoor service will still be held at the town’s Cenotaph on November 12 followed by an indoor service at an arts centre.
The Royal British Legion has said it would help any council that is struggling to meet safety requirements to hold parades.
But a spokesman added: ‘The Legion is not responsible for, nor takes any final decisions regarding the delivery of these events.’
IT sounds like something from the pages of a gripping political thriller.
Deep in the corridors of Westminster, a sinister cabal tugs the strings of power.
With the silken subtlety of a latter- day Machiavelli, the clique conspires to agree who becomes party leader… and, once that person has outlasted their usefulness, ruthlessly dispenses with them.
But this account of backstabbing and deceit is not an outlandish work of fiction.
In her incendiary new book, former Cabinet minister nadine dorries says such a group has been operating within the Conservative Party for two decades.
It has, she says, poisoned the well of political discourse, destabilised successive prime ministers and betrayed the trust shown in the party by voters. The aim? To achieve its own self-serving interests.
The ex-MP’s astonishing revelations about ‘The Movement’ are in The Plot: The Political Assassination of Boris Johnson, serialised in the Mail from today.
Identifying serial minister Michael Gove, Mr Johnson’s one-time consigliere dominic Cummings and obscure adviser dougie smith as members, she accuses this secretive faction of subverting democracy.
The group, she says, was instrumental in installing Mr Johnson at no10 during the 2019 Tory crisis. But when he won an 80seat majority in the election that year, they realised he had become too powerful. ‘It was time to get him out,’ she writes. This was done using ‘dark arts’ – leaks, negative briefings and whipping up discontent.
Some will inevitably try to dismiss the ex-culture secretary as a conspiracy theorist, upset at being blocked for a peerage.
But it is impossible not to applaud Ms dorries for drawing back the curtain on the malign machinations in Westminster.
While her account may be controversial, it is from a woman who was at the centre of these seismic events as they happened.
Anyone listening to the Covid Inquiry this week will have heard multiple versions of the dysfunctionality in downing street and Whitehall. Given those lurid claims, could anybody honestly say Ms dorries’ revelations sound implausible?
Having ousted the man who secured them a thumping majority, the Tories are miles behind Labour in the polls. so this paper has only one question for ‘The Movement’: How’s the grand plan working out?