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Weekly editor rubbishes councillor’s ‘character assassination’ claims

John Elworthy 1An editor has rubbished a deputy mayor’s claims that his newspaper is conducting a campaign of “character assassination” against him.

Wisbech Standard editor John Elworthy, left, says Councillor Steve Tierney, a Conservative sitting on Wisbech Town Council, has posted an “irrational stream of blogs and invective” aimed at both him and the Standard.

In a series of posts on his personal blog, Cllr Tierney has accused John and the Standard of “relentlessly” attacking him to a point where he has decided to stop writing it.

The Standard reported on its website on Wednesday afternoon how Fenland District Council’s conduct committee had unanimously dismissed a complaint by Cllr Tierney against UKIP councillor Alan Lay.

Cllr Tierney posted: “Unfortunately, the snipes and character assassination by the local newspaper editor have, if anything, got worse. Tweet after tweet, comment after comment and article after article I find myself the target, while the Usual Suspects circle around him and join in the character assassination.

“Nor am I the only one. Increasingly, others are finding that if they dare to challenge they become a target themselves. So I wont be restarting my blog as it only gives him and his mates ammunition.”

In response, John told HTFP: “Cllr Tierney, unfortunately, would prefer to live and operate in a world devoid of either political opposition or indeed of anyone willing or able to challenge his posturing. Quite how he will take today’s criticism, for instance, of a conduct committee that dismissed his complaint against a fellow councillor remains unclear but he will certainly be displeased.

“Local papers thrive on political engagement and in the main that has proven, with Cllr Tierney, challenging. Tierney’s way or the highway probably best sums it up. As a local newspaper editor I simply do my job – and enjoy good relationships across the spectrum of political parties and individuals in Cambridgeshire as I have done for 15 years.

“That Cllr Tierney appears alone in an irrational stream of blogs and invective says it all really.

“For the Wisbech Standard it remains business as usual. He has offered no evidence of ‘character assassination’ and I have repeatedly invited him to translate his criticism into some form of tangible document that I could respond to but that approach has also failed.”

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  • February 10, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Many county, district and town councillors are pompous but useless, not good or productive at any proper work, so they end-up in what can be lucrative little expenses-claiming enclaves. They are “elected” on a party ticket by never more than a few hundred people who have little or no idea who they are, what they stand for and how much of a financial drain they are. They profit from apathy and disinterest.
    Not all are like that, but many.
    Long may people like John be there to tweak their gravy-soaked tails.

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