LISTEN: Greenwich Council leader swears at and threatens colleague in sensational foul-mouthed voicemail (From News Shopper)
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LISTEN: Greenwich Council leader Chris Roberts swears at and threatens colleague in sensational foul-mouthed voicemail
AN ANGRY voicemail of Greenwich Council's leader telling a senior cabinet member to "get that through your f***ing thick skull" has sparked accusations of bullying.
Councillor Chris Roberts left the foul-mouthed message on the phone of Councillor John Fahy last month over whether a decision on the Run to the Beat race should be taken before or after the next administration in 2014.
In an astonishing rant, obtained by News Shopper, the leader threatens to remove Cllr Fahy's cabinet portfolio and warns him no decisions will be deferred.
Cllr Roberts says: "Let me be clear to you, if you do not want to take decisions in the remainder of this administration, I expect you to resign from the cabinet.
"No decisions are going to be postponed in this administration. Absolutely none.
"If you want to paralyse this administration and be part of it, it won't happen, so I expect you to either resign from the cabinet or to get on and do the job.
"I've got to carry on doing my job and therefore no decisions will be postponed.
"Absolutely none will be postponed. Get that through your thick skull, John. It will not happen.
"And I'm not having you playing these games. I will remove your portfolio, you will have no portfolio, and you can be doing nothing.
"But we are not deferring decisions. Get that through your f***ing thick skull, John."
Warning: This audiofile contains language by the Leader of the Royal Borough which some people may find offensive.
The disclosure of the voicemail is likely to pour further pressure on the embattled leader, after News Shopper called for him to resign this week.
A post about the voicemail's existence on the 853 blog has led one Lewisham constituent to contact their MP Heidi Alexander with allegations of bullying against Cllr Roberts. That has now been passed to the London Labour Party.
Ms Alexander said: "I was asked by one of my constituents to pass on concerns about alleged bullying to an appropriate official within the Labour Party, which I did.
"I have had no contact with any individuals directly involved in this matter but have been told, that should evidence of bullying exist, the party will take action."
Cllr Roberts told News Shopper: "The matter is subject to the internal processes of the Labour Group. On that basis I have been strongly advised that it would be inappropriate for me to comment."
Cllr Fahy was also unavailable for comment.
The leader, who is due to stand down at the next election, has been accused by an ex-staff member at Greenwich Time of having Cllr Fahy banned from the local authority newspaper last year, after the cabinet member stood against him for the leadership.
And Councillor Alex Grant, who is also standing down, claimed in an email earlier this year that there was a "culture of bullying" and "sinister threats" in the Labour Group, saying it was harming his health.
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