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Conflict breaks out between MP Weatherley and the Green Party

Mike Weatherley described the Green Party as “communists” on 4 January.

The MP for Hove and Portslade called them “the local Communist Green party” and accused them of behaving fiscally irresponsibly.

He said that their instinct to tax and spend would prevent the council from making or retaining any savings.

Mr. Weatherley  said: “The local communist Green party shows its true colours in its reluctance to outsource services.

As an example he cited the Green Party’s reluctance to support free schools, stating that it was suggestive of an attempt to prevent governmental de-centralisation.

He added: ““You’d think the Green council would be in favour of communities being able to improve the education of their children but in fact it is hostile to the idea.

Rob Shepherd, the Green Party’s spokesman, responded to these comments by asserting that the Green party were making no attempts to centralise government.

He pointed to the Green’s institution of neighbourhood councils as evidence of an attempt to give more power and autonomy to individual neighbourhoods.

Mr. Sheperd said: “If Mr Weatherley bases his spectre of communism on the idea that the Greens are centralising, he needs to go back to the drawing board, or even read Green literature.

“He hasn’t yet realised that there is a new politics alive and flourishing – neither red nor blue, but Green.”

Weatherley also criticised Green councillor, Christopher Hawtree for the Green’s plans to cut Brighton and Hove Library Services.

The Greens are reportedly planning to cut library services in the Brighton and Hove area by £170,000, as part of a plan to save £17 million in the next financial year.

The majority of this money is to be saved by reducing opening hours and no closures are forecast for the coming years.

Conservative Councillors and politicians have claimed that the Greens have backtracked on their  earlier campaigns to protect libraries in the area.

Weatherley accused Hawtree of “making a spectacular u-turn” and called on him to “turn a new page and come out against these harmful cuts”.

He quipped: “It appears that the Greens have the manual on U-turns out on long-term loan.”

Hawtree referred to these comments as “thuggery” .

He also suggested that Weatherley and his fellow Conservative MPs were being hypocritical as they were planning to cut the council budget by over a third.

A local political blogger referred to Weatehrley’s comments as “nasty personal attacks” and stated that “attacks on an individual’s integrity are not acceptable”.

A final decision on library plans will be released on 23 February.

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