Following Spratt apology, Long calls for official recording of Castlereagh Council to deal with abusive language

Alliance Castlereagh Councillor Michael Long has renewed his party’s call for Council meetings of Castlereagh Council to be recorded to deal with abusive language. His comments come after the official record of an Assembly Committee proved the DUP’s Jimmy Spratt described those opposed to the Maze development as ‘nutters’. Jimmy Spratt has previously used language such as ‘scum’ and ‘bigot’ in Council meetings towards Cllr Long.

Cllr Michael Long said: “The use of personally abusive language and name-calling is not appropriate in politics at any level. The apology from Jimmy Spratt was only offered after the release of the committee’s minutes showing that he had indeed made the offensive remarks in question.

“After my colleagues and I were the target of similar inappropriate and abusive language and after continued conflicts about what was said at meetings, Alliance proposed last November that meetings should be recorded; however, this was opposed by both the DUP and UUP.

“We will be renewing our calls for this to happen to ensure that we have openness and transparency and to dissuade Councillors from resorting to abusive and inappropriate language in exchanges. The Hansard report demonstrates the value of such recording, as it is clear that it is only by having an independent record of meetings that we can get an accurate picture of what is actually said and expose and address inappropriate comment.”


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