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Council leader goes offline after twit-for-tat row

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 30, 2014

Julian Mott

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THE leader of East Staffordshire Borough Council has vowed to quit Twitter following an online spat with Burton’s MP Andrew Griffiths.

Julian Mott had been posting daily updates of developments from within Burton Town Hall since becoming leader two months ago, but the Labour politician has been stung by a series of posts from rival Tories in the town in recent weeks, poking fun at him and criticising his leadership.

Now a row with Conservative MP Mr Griffiths appears to have tipped Councillor Mott over the edge as he promised to close down his Twitter account.

The row surrounded claims that Councillor Mott had committed to spending £225,000 since stepping into power in February, which he denies.

When he sarcastically tweeted that he ‘didn’t know’ he had agreed to spend the cash, this was leapt on by Mr Griffiths, who berated the council leader in a series of tweets.

The exchange came in the same week Councillor Mott was depicted as a monkey, and fellow Labour councillor Bill Ganley an organ grinder, in a tweet posted by the borough’s former Tory mayor Len Milner.

The Labour councillors were accused of lacking a sense of humour following their reaction but Councillor Mott said he had grown tired with Twitter.

He told the Mail: “I have decided to close down my Twitter account. I had hoped it would create debate but instead of debate there have been fabrications, insults and rudeness.

“I have no interest in ‘yah-boo-sucks’ politics. Tit-for-tat bickering is simply childish and is unconstructive, unseemly and unbecoming.

“I have been attacked by Andrew Griffiths for not knowing the borough council has committed itself to spending an extra £225,000. Mr Griffiths seems to believe that if he repeats something often enough, it must be true.

“The plans don’t exist so no wonder I don’t know of them. The Labour/Independent groups will not be following the Conservative budget but we have made a commitment to freeze council tax.”

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