An East London councilor has apologized after repeatedly swearing at a council meeting while mocking Boris Johnson’s government. Councilor Dominic Twomey exclaimed that the Westminster Government “can’t run beer in a brewery” as he unveiled the new budget for Barking and Dagenham Council. Cllr Twomey announced a 2.99 percent increase in council tax.
Later in the session, he apologized for his language – adding that it was “the ladies in particular” he wanted to apologize to. Cllr Twomey told an All-Labour Council cabinet meeting that nobody wanted the tax hike but the Conservative government had put them in an “unenviable position”. He said: “The biggest uncertainty is, all jokes aside, this government – they don’t seem to know what they’re doing in terms of supporting local government. If you put me back six or eight weeks, I probably would have said you can’t do sh*t in a brewery.
“It seems that not only can they do that, they can run a very good p***-up in an office, a garden and all sorts of workplaces…hopefully someone will eventually get fined.” The vice chairman and cabinet member for the district for finance, performance and core services referred to the “Partygate” scandal, which has centered around a series of gatherings at 10 Downing Street and other government offices in breach of the government’s own Covid rules.
He later added: “I must apologize for any offensive language I may have caused to anyone in the Chamber, but particularly to the ladies.” 26, said the tax increase was intended to deal with rising costs, with a per cent earmarked for adult social care in Barking and Dagenham.
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The increase would take the cost of council tax for Group D properties – which are worth between £68,000 and £88,000 – from £1,348.91 to £1,389.24, meaning an additional £40.33 a year. Combined with another tax increase from the Greater London Authority, council tax for a Band D house will rise by £72.26 a year – or £1.39 a week. Cllr Twomey said although the council did not want to increase the council tax because the cost of living is rising across the country, it has been forced to do so by the government.
He said: “[It’s the] The government is likely to put us, and every other local authority in the country, in the unenviable position of having to reassess the council tax. I say it’s unenviable because I know none of us in this room tonight would do that voluntarily. But if we decided against it, not only would we then have to find just under £2m of additional savings from elsewhere, it would almost be an endorsement to say ‘We’re fine, our budget, our finances are fine.’ Honestly, as you all know, none of these statements are true.”
MyLondon contacted Cllr Twomey, Barking and Dagenham Council and the Department for Leveling Up, Housing and Communities for further comments.