GREENWICH Labour councillors at a meeting yesterday (October 31) reacted to the bullying scandal which has rocked their party - by staying completely silent about it.

The full council meeting was the first following several months of revelations, including a second councillor standing down citing bullying allegations and a voicemail where Leader of Greenwich Council Councillor Chris Roberts told a colleague to "get that through your f***ing thick skull".

But it was left to Conservative councillors to call for changes. And when Tory leader Councillor Spencer Drury raised the fact Cllr Roberts had referred himself to the standards board over the foul-mouthed voicemail, one Labour councillor branded the comment "cheap".

Cllr Drury replied: "It is cheap, but then I have to get it into my thick skull."

During proceedings, Tories put forward a sarcastic "Chris Roberts survival motion" praising the leader's "interpersonal skills" and asked Labour councillors to support it.

But they also called for changes to council decision-making, questioning the existence of ad hoc, secret, cabinet meetings, and suggested area forums and a shake-up of scrutiny panels.

One motion referred to Labour parliamentary hopeful Councillor Matthew Pennycook who recently tweeted: "The decades-old culture of Greenwich politics must change."

But, despite being urged several times by Cllr Drury to expand on what he meant, Cllr Pennycook joined the majority of his colleagues in saying nothing.

Putting forward an amendment, Cllr Roberts promised the ideas would be considered during a review of the council constitution. He said: "There's an opportunity for us to take account of the issues that the conservative group have been suggesting."

But the most controversial point came as Mayor of Greenwich Councillor Angela Cornforth, who chairs the meetings, withdrew a Tory motion on electing council leaders by secret ballot, saying that it went against local government law.

Tory deputy Councillor Nigel Fletcher accused her of tearing up the council constitution, saying: "We're establishing a precedent where the mayor can strike out motions and I think that's very dangerous."

He has since written to the mayor asking for an explanation.