Maldon council: Councillor accused of 'breaching the peace' after he brings megaphone to meeting

Police arrive at a meeting of Maldon District Council

Police were called to a row at Maldon District Council meeting after a councillor who turned up with a megaphone was accused of "breaching the peace".

The meeting of the Essex local authority was eventually abandoned last night after several members walked out.

The independent councillor for Heybridge West, Chrisy Morris, was accused of repeatedly disrupting the meeting.

The tense scenes called to mind the notorious Handsworth Parish Council debacle.

Clerk Jackie Weaver found herself an accidental internet sensation after her efforts to calm a fiery debate over zoom went viral.

At Maldon Council's meeting, a megaphone can be seen on the table next to Cllr Morris.

In a livestream of the meeting, Chairman of the Council, Cllr Mark Heard, says: "I'm not interested in what you've got to say, I'm trying to conduct a meeting here so I'm very pleased to see these officers."

In response, Cllr Morris can be heard telling the police officers: "I'm legally entitled to be here. I'm democratically elected, so I'm allowed to speak."

However the Chairman says: "You are not allowed to speak because you've not been heard."

One of the police officers tells Cllr Morris: "At this time you're essentially breaching the peace."

To which Cllr Morris replies: "No I'm not. I'm legally entitled to be here."

In a statement, Maldon District Council’s Leader, Cllr Wendy Stamp said: “Enough is enough.

"The public may be seeing Cllr Morris’s disruptive behaviour for the first time at last night’s Council meeting.

"However, this has been a regular occurrence and we cannot tolerate this type of behaviour any longer and put members and staff through any further distress.“The attacking and disruptive behaviour of Cllr Chrisy Morris cements the outcomes of two independent investigations into his behaviour.

"Despite the alarming findings in these investigations, Cllr Morris has continued to breach the Council’s code of conduct."

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Morris told ITV News Anglia that as a democratically elected representative, he was dismayed that three police officers had turned up to tell him “not to speak.”

He added: “It was a little bit against the grain, as it was.”