No - that headline isn't a joke ... I really have just been evicted from the Full Council meeting (around 1pm) for apparently behaving offensively?
Even my most ardent political opponents have been texting to say they're stunned. Seriously.
Here's what happened:
The whole episode occurred during 'Council Leader's Report/question time', when Cllr. Jenny Dawe (the Council Leader) answered a question from Cllr. Ian Perry (one of my Group colleagues) about EDI, and I responded with a further question. She thereafter accused me of calling her a liar.
Frankly, there is simply no question that I used the word 'lie' or 'liar' in my comments to the Council Leader.
The Council Leader had said, in response to an earlier question, that there was no written/signed letter relating to Councillor Gordon Mackenzie's resignation from the Board of EDI. There is such a signed document - I have it in my possession - and I responded to the Council Leader that she was being less than truthful in her response.
I stand by that.
The signed-document in question is a public document, as it was given to me as a background paper for the report that went to Policy and Strategy on the 9th June, you can see that main report here. I have the 'background paper' signed-document as a PDF.
The real issue here is the conduct of the (supposed?) Chair of EDI - Gordon Mackenzie.
As I indicated yesterday, Gordon Mackenzie resigned from the Board of EDI on the 9th June at a meeting of the Policy and Strategy Committee, a decision which was formerly recorded at the time and was backed up by a signed document indicating that he would leave the EDI Board with effect from the 23rd June.
On the 24th June, Cllr. Mackenzie chaired a Board Meeting of EDI which summarily removed the Acting Chief Executive from post. There was no attempt beforehand to inform elected Councillors on the Policy and Strategy Committee, or Councillors on the Board of EDI, about the circumstances surrounding Cllr. Mackenzie remaining in post.
There is clearly a blatant disregard for 'due and proper process' being displayed by this Administration and they are simply playing fast-and-loose with local democracy. It's not acceptable, and I will not stand by and watch it happening without speaking truth to those currently in power within the City Chambers.
I may have been kicked out of the Chamber - on the casting vote of the Lord Provost it has to be added - but it won't stop me doing what I should be doing as Leader of the main Opposition Group in the City Chambers: asking difficult questions of those who are running our city.