Councillor Chris Paul from Withington Ward has denied many years of insulting and social media posts and behaviour on and offline.
The row escalated when Chris Paul confronted the accusations, saying if people did not remove them there would be serious legal consequences. He then said “’I do not believe I wrote that’” but insisted any one questioning him would be reported to the police and banned from social media. As of yet, no one has been banned or prosecuted for sharing the content which is live on Twitter.
Commentators on social media ignored Chris Pauls demand for apologies and removing his live tweets, with citizens adding “he’s notorious for it. Got away with being a nasty bully for years”. Journalists, opposition parties, party members, community groups and citizens, all claim they have long born witness to his conduct on and offline.
However, campaigners have collected hundreds of tweets, which are threatening, misogynistic, insulting or people have long perceived as being harassing, intimidating or humiliating. The folder, which has been shared before to Manchester City Council, the Labour Party and Manchester leaders is here. https://1drv.ms/f/s!Aupen67j_z-AuVy-o8P-5JBeZtxj.
However, Chris Paul says images have been photoshopped or his account has been hacked consistently since 2009 when he joined Twitter, though without his awareness and their remaining live on his account.
With the national debate raging of bullying and harassment in the Labour Party, campaigners feel a culture of bullying and intimidation has long been ignored and encouraged by Manchester Labour.
Yet, despite Chris Pauls behaviour has been reported in complaints before, no response and no action has been forthcoming from the party or the Council. Concerningly, other media outlets have consistenly ignored reports of harassment or prejudiced tweets by active Councillors.
There are notable stories and allegations which support the notion that the culture of bullying in local Labour is endemic.
Labour List reported in April 2016 that Gorton PLP had been suspended due to threats, harassment and an endemic culture of bullying.
City Centre Councillor Kevin Peel was allegedly suspended in March last year and was paid for a year of duties, despite spending most of the year travelling and not being witnessed as being present working.
This was after a racist tweet and his online harassment was reported in a joint complaint of over 200 people
Adam Prince of Manchester Shield says, “the escalation and misuse of power is very worrying in Manchester. I have spoken to many people scared to speak out a range of behaviours, including insults, bullying and discrimination, to damage of people’s projects, employment and even businesses.”
People are scared to talk. Those who have complained are ignored or feel if they have been vocal about their treatment, there are very real consequences. I am happy to be contacted by anyone with evidence of this behaviour to raise these issues in the public domain and to make complaints about a culture which must change.”
The wealth of evidence of an endemic bullying culture which has been supported or denied by the leadership of Manchester City Council and the monopoly party is clear. The escalation is damaging for the city but has been allowed to humiliate and disempower people.”
I fear the consequences if there is a lack of any opposition representation whatsoever after the May local elections. I fear without opposition, it will make these issues significantly worse and by taking no action. I fear the local Labour party will escalate the damage to local democracy and show its real permissiveness with these behaviours in almost a gang like mentality. Currently it feels like the culture is absolutely ignored and actively supported”.
“The Chris Paul case is a clear indication of where discipline and suspension must be considered”.