Phil Twiss worried about Tory councillors being assaulted in car parks

This is a reply from Phil Twiss to an elector who wondered whether Councillor Twiss might have over-reacted somewhat to the (correct) use of the word “cull” by a commentator on the blog of Independent Councillor Claire Wright (bold lettering ours). The letter to which this is a reply is below Councillor Twiss’s response:

“Dear (Voter)

The Conservative Party takes all threats of violence or incitement to violence very seriously and will always take appropriate action (no matter how innocuous or isolated/infrequent they may seem to casual observers like yourself) on a better safe than sorry footing. There are no exceptions to this and whilst the problem is more frequent with higher profile politicians (particularly during election periods) it is none the less a problem at all levels. I was election agent for Neil Parish M.P. during the 2010 General election and speak from a position of experience and it is pretty unpleasant.

Following concerns expressed by fellow EDDC Councillors on the precise wording of the comment made on Claire Wrights blog site yesterday as Secretary of the EDDC Conservative Group (a quite distinct role from Party Whip) I asked that it was removed which it was. A complaint was then made to Devon and Cornwall constabulary about the person who submitted the comment and where it was published; this is now subject to police investigation. The police have confirmed that this was the correct course of action to take and if after investigation they conclude there is no problem then that is the end of the matter.

As an illustration of a regrettable and unfortunate aside you may have read that a Councillor was recently attacked in Coventry by three people over a car parking issue, see which is also the kind of function EDDC deal with and therefore why this kind of threat is unsettling to our Group members.

I make no apology for this apparently uncompromising position which has absolutely nothing to do with the size of the EDDC Conservative Group.”


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One has to hope that the police are more widely read than Mr Twiss.

Here is the original letter to Mr Twiss

“Cllr Twiss,

What on earth has made the majority party, (of which you are not the Whip so why are you reacting on their behalf?) so twitchy as to provoke your over-the-top language and threatening behaviour towards Cllr Wright?

I suggest you read the East devon Alliance website where you will see quotations from Messr Cameron, Clegg and Robinson all using the word cull in the sense of reduction in numbers, not as mass murder.

An apology to Cllr Wright for the threat would be in order if you are man enough.”

Sidmouth District Councillors invited to meet the public at Open Meeting (Tues evening, 9th Dec)

Knowle and the Local Plan will be the main topics for discussion. Details here

Twiss to report Cameron, Miliband and Clegg to Metropolitan Police?

In each of these articles the jounalist uses the word “cull” in relation to David Cameron, David Miliband and Nick Clegg

Who should be reported to the police: the journalists or the Leaders?

Councillor Twiss gets his dictionary in a Twiss!

I honestly wish we had made this up!

Councillor Phil “I have never been and I am not currently the EDDC Tory Party Whip” Twiss is reporting Independent Councillor Claire Wright to Devon and Cornwall Police for publishing a comment on her blog, from a contributor, which suggested that Tory councillors should be culled (i.e. reduced in number)!

I think poor old Phil has been spending too much time with seagulls and not enough time reading his papers! As Paul Arnott (in his private capacity) said in his response to this news on Claire Wright’s blog:

Cull” is a commonly used expression which in a political context means “reduce”. When the BBC’s Nick Robinson talks of a cull of Labout MPs in Scotland after the next election nobody imagines them being chased across grouse moors with shotguns. … Do the people of Honiton St Michaels really want their member to be wasting police time like this?

But the serious side of this is how dirty local politics has now become. Mainstream parties are now not just rattled but panic-stricken at the once unbelievable (to them) idea that they would not rule forever.

EDDC: Please stop calling it “Plan B” – there was no Plan B!

It is NOT Plan B!


1. You did not factor into your Skypark choice that the supermarket destined for Honiton might change its plans (evidence: you told tenants of the East Devon Business Centre to start looking for new premises).

2. You did not know at the start of your deliberations that there would be space at Exmouth Town Hall (evidence: Devon County Council only recently announced that it would be vacating its space at Exmouth Town Hall).

3. If Exmouth had really been a viable alternative to Skypark, EDDC would have investigated the Rolle College site.

And, surely, with the empty space at Exmouth Town Hall, DCC is charged with getting best value for it. How can EDDC be sure of securing it?

Still, EDDC can always rent a few rooms at the Premier Inn!