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Weekly’s campaign launch turns sour as councillors come to blows

Two councillors came to blows at a weekly’s campaign launch – providing an unintended splash for the newspaper.

The Andover Advertiser had invited a number of councillors and business leaders for a photograph to celebrate its ‘Keep it Andover’ bid, which aims to promote the Hampshire town’s high street.

But just after the photograph had taken place Councillor Ian Carr, the leader of Test Valley Borough Council, and rival Hampshire County Councillor Tony Hooke were involved in a fracas.

Conservative Cllr Carr has admitted pushing Cllr Hooke, formerly of UKIP but now an independent, and calling him the “biggest arsehole in Andover” during the street fracas, but has denied swearing or punching him.

Business owners and fellow councillors had to step in to part the pair during the incident at 12pm on Wednesday.

The row was subsequently covered on the Advertiser’s front page on Friday.

Andover front

Police have confirmed they are investigating the incident.

Cllr Carr told the Advertiser: “Me and my family have had four years of abuse and it got the better of me today after a difficult few days due to personal circumstances.”

Cllr Hooke responded: “This incredible behaviour was completely unprovoked and should not go unchallenged.”

James Robinson, senior news and sports reporter at the paper, told HTFP: “It is a real shame that our positive campaign has been overshadowed by this incident. The Advertiser team has worked very hard over the last month to bring this initiative together.

“We’d had such brilliant feedback from local businesses, who were overjoyed that the paper was doing its part to back our delightful market town.

“We really hope that both shoppers and businesses will continue to support our Keep it Andover campaign and its objective to get more people to use our nationally acclaimed High Street.”


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  • February 7, 2017 at 10:38 am

    ” just after the photograph had taken place” S’pose the ‘tog didn’t have time to hang round. Shame really and no punter with a mobile footage? Shurely shome mishtake M?

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  • February 10, 2017 at 12:02 am

    They have a ‘senior news AND sports reporter’, so presumably they’re not exactly mob-handed, yet the byline reads ‘Newsdesk’. Why bother putting one on it at all? Couldn’t they remember who wrote it?
    I’m likewise mystified by the absence of a photo.

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