Chairman ejected from viral Handforth Parish Council meeting insists Jackie Weaver had 'no authority' to remove him

A parish council chairman made famous for telling Jackie Weaver she had 'no authority' has stood by his claims.

Jackie shot to fame in January following her handling of an online meeting of the chaotic Handforth Parish Council in December.

The Zoom meeting, which was uploaded to YouTube, saw councillors lose their cool and trade insults, quickly went viral, and made an overnight star of the Cheshire local government advisor.

Now, Chairman Brian Tolver - who was ejected by Jackie during the meeting - has stood by his comments, and maintained the 63-year-old had "no authority" to remove members of the council, and has insisted she acted "illegally".

Jackie however says she feels it is another example of "classic bullying" where he seeks "to blame somebody else for your behaviour".

In a 16 minute video released on 24 March Mr Tolver apologises to Handforth residents and says he 'lost his cool' during the infamous meeting.

If you've ever heard of me it's quite likely as the monstrous villain of the piece in the story of Jackie Weaver and Hanforth Parish Council - 'you have no authority here'.

Brian Tolver

After showing two clips of two meetings held that evening, Mr Tolver makes a number of claims including the fact he had not known Jackie - who was acting in her role as the chief officer of the Cheshire Association of Local Councils (ChALC) - was attending the meeting.

This, he adds, meant she had no "lawful basis" for acting as "director of proceedings".

Jackie Weaver became an internet star after removing and muting a number of councillors in a chaotic meeting of Handforth Parish Council.

Giving his statement he says: "Imagine yourself in position of chair in that situation, a stranger turns up unexpectedly and assumes control of the proceedings.

"Without any vote to give her some sort of formal position she interrupts you from the beginning, disputed you statements from the chair switches off your microphone and then ejects you from the proceedings altogether.

"I doubt anyone would be best pleased by that’s what happened."

He goes on to claim that Jackie's actions during the meeting caused an "caused already difficult and tense situation to become explosive".

Standing by his outburst on the meeting which saw him ejected, he maintains throughout the video she "either doesn't know the law, or chose to disregard it", when it came to parish councils and standing orders.

Brian Tolver released a 16-minute video where he says he describes the "real truth" of the eventful parish council meeting.

In response to the claims Jackie says she was 'gobsmacked' by the video.

She says: "When I saw the video, the thing that struck me more than anything else was the absolute arrogance of his position. I found that absolutely gobsmacking."

The disingenuousness of it is absolutely breathtaking.

Jackie Weaver

"There is no sense in anything that he has said, that makes you think that he has any concept of him being anything but the victim here.

"It is classic bullying 101 to blame somebody else for your behaviour. It's unbelievable."

She added that she had met Mr Tolver on previous occasions, and any email correspondence for the meeting - including the link to the Zoom - would have come from her, disputing the fact she was a "stranger".

She says: "For me the biggest issue is right at the end, where he says 'this stranger turned up to this meeting' - that's perverse on some many levels.

"He will have had five days notice of this meeting, and secondly I cannot have made much impression on him when some five years ago I was sat in his living room with him!

"So for him to say this stranger turns up is some what peculiar."


How did Handforth Parish Council become a viral sensation?

Jackie Weaver hosted a meeting of Handforth Parish Council in which councillors lost their cool and traded insults, leading to her kick chairman Brian Tolver off the Zoom call.

A clip of the 10 December meeting, which was put on Twitter on 4 February, had been viewed more than three million times just 12 hours later, much to the shock of Mrs Weaver.

The clip has now been viewed over 5.7 million times on Twitter alone.

The meeting of the parish council in Cheshire marked the second time Mr Tolver had been removed, having previously been evicted from the earlier 7pm Planning and Environment committee call.

In the 7.30pm extraordinary meeting, Mr Tolver told Mrs Weaver to "stop talking", and added: "You have no authority here."

Another member, vice-chair Aled Brewerton, can also be heard telling Mrs Weaver to "read the standing orders and understand them" before he too is ejected.