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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:59 pm 
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This is more about the councillor rather than the taxi driver who was before the committee, but interesting nonetheless, and makes a change to see a councillor suspended.

Fife councillor who called taxi driver stalker a bully breached standards code

https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/lo ... ards-code/

A Fife councillor has been sanctioned for calling a convicted stalker a bully during a committee meeting.

David MacDiarmid was suspended from Fife Council’s regulation and licensing committee for two months by the Standards Commision for Scotland.

After a public hearing in Fife House, Glenrothes, an SCS panel found he had breached the councillors’ code of conduct by making remarks of a personal, offensive or insulting nature.

Mr MacDiarmid, 65, SNP councillor for the Howe of Fife and Tay Coast, was said to have called the taxi driver a bully to women and children and questioned why any woman would marry him as his application to extend his licence was refused in December 2015.

A sheriff later overturned the committee’s decision and granted the licence, stating that his comments were “tainted with prejudice and bias”.

SCS panel chair Michael McCormick said Mr MacDiarmid “should have known the importance of not only acting fairly but being seen to act fairly when dealing with decisions that were either quasi-judicial or regulatory in nature” and his conduct “had the potential to bring the council into public disrepute”.

A police report presented to the committee, on which Mr MacDiarmid sits, outlined the 2012 conviction and two historical criminal allegations against the driver.

An investigation was conducted by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland after a complaint was lodged in August last year.

Claire Gilmore, for the ethical standards commissioner, told the panel: “The complainer attended this hearing as a member of the public, he was not a fellow councillor engaged in heated debate. He was entitled as a member of the public to be treated with courtesy and respect”.

She also said comments about his attractiveness as a husband did not relate to his “suitability to drive a taxi or to the safety of the public”.

Mr MacDiarmid’s counsel Hugh Olsen said the police report about the complainer referred to “controlling and abusive” behaviour and use of the word “bully” was “quite mild”.

He said: “If it seems that this is a fair way of characterising the comments of that letter then it was perfectly fair for that interpretation to be put to (the complainer) to give him the opportunity to respond.”

Mr Olsen also claimed Mr MacDiarmid had been denied a fair hearing by the delay in the complaint being made, as he was unable to recall the words to defend himself.

However, the SCS concluded it was reasonable for the complainer to await the outcome of his court appeal.

Giving evidence Mr MacDiarmid accepted the words had been recorded by a committee administrator and council solicitor but said he could not remember saying them.

When asked if he recalled ever making gratuitous or insulting comments to licence applicants, he said: “No, I don’t think I would have been a councillor for 11 years if I conducted myself in that manner.”

He also said reading the words attributed to him was “like reading someone else’s statement”.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:13 pm 
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A Fife councillor has been sanctioned for calling a convicted stalker a bully during a committee meeting.

really :lol:

storm in a whisky glass springs to mind :roll:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:57 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
A sheriff later overturned the committee’s decision and granted the licence, stating that his comments were “tainted with prejudice and bias”.

Correct.

We all have views about this that and the other, but when you are acting in a quasi judicial position you deal with facts, not personalities,

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:35 pm 
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edders23 wrote:
A Fife councillor has been sanctioned for calling a convicted stalker a bully during a committee meeting.

really :lol:

storm in a whisky glass springs to mind :roll:


On the contrary, it underlines much of what is wrong with the licensing process, although obviously the "prejudice and bias" outlined in the piece isn't normally so self-evident.

Hadn't heard of this case until yesterday, but there's a background to it all and a lot of personal interest, but don't want to say too much - you never know who might be reading :-# 8-[


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:56 pm 
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I think being a Councillor is a thankless task.

For every person you please, there is one you p*** off.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 9:39 am 
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Fife councillor suspended for calling taxi driver a bully loses legal battle

https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/lo ... l-refused/

Image
Image: The Courier

A Fife councillor who was suspended for making inappropriate remarks to a taxi driver seeking to renew his licence has had an appeal against his sanction rejected.

David MacDiarmid, SNP member for the Howe of Fife and Tay Coast ward, was given a two-month ban from serving on the council’s regulation and licensing committee after he was deemed to have contravened the councillors’ Code of Conduct.

His comments were made after Police Scotland had outlined concerns about allegations of violence and controlling and abusive behaviour in relation to the taxi driver at a committee meeting in December 2015.

MacDiarmid told the applicant he did not “understand why two women would live with you never mind get married to you” and described him as a “bully”.

The Standards Commission for Scotland found Mr MacDiarmid’s remarks had amounted to a personal attack and were insulting, contrary to the Code of Conduct which states elected members must ensure they act fairly when taking decisions on such matters.

Mr MacDiarmid challenged that decision in an appeal, heard by Sheriff Principal Marysia Lewis at Perth Sheriff Court, but it has now been refused.

Senior counsel Mungo Bovey QC suggested Mr MacDiarmid’s comments might have been protected under article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights — which governs the right to freedom of expression — on the basis the taxi driver had attended the committee in two capacities, as a member of the public and as someone seeking renewal of a licence.

However, Sheriff Lewis disagreed.

“The contention that WH (the taxi driver) attended the committee meeting as an active participant and separately as a member of the public is somewhat illusory,” the sheriff said.

“WH attended the hearing for the sole purpose of securing renewal of his licence.”


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 9:58 am 
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Quote:
Senior counsel Mungo Bovey QC...


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mungo_Bovey

Wikipedia wrote:
Mungo Bovey, QC (born 1 May 1959)[1] is a Scottish advocate (lawyer). He is Keeper of the Faculty of Advocates' Library.[…]

He is involved in the Scottish National Party, and has represented them in court cases (e.g. SNP, Petitioners). He has stood as an SNP candidate, and his father is Keith Bovey, who was an SNP candidate a few times, including in the 1978 Glasgow Garscadden by-election.


Well there's a surprise :roll:


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:21 am 
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StuartW wrote:
edders23 wrote:
A Fife councillor has been sanctioned for calling a convicted stalker a bully during a committee meeting.

really :lol:

storm in a whisky glass springs to mind :roll:


On the contrary, it underlines much of what is wrong with the licensing process, although obviously the "prejudice and bias" outlined in the piece isn't normally so self-evident.

Hadn't heard of this case until yesterday, but there's a background to it all and a lot of personal interest, but don't want to say too much - you never know who might be reading :-# 8-[

If the Councillor had a personal interest then maybe he should have declared this and not sat.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:39 am 
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grandad wrote:
StuartW wrote:
Hadn't heard of this case until yesterday, but there's a background to it all and a lot of personal interest, but don't want to say too much - you never know who might be reading :-# 8-[

If the Councillor had a personal interest then maybe he should have declared this and not sat.


To clarify, I meant *my* personal interest 8-[


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:35 pm 
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Quote:
Senior counsel Mungo Bovey QC suggested Mr MacDiarmid’s comments might have been protected under article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights — which governs the right to freedom of expression — on the basis the taxi driver had attended the committee in two capacities, as a member of the public and as someone seeking renewal of a licence.

What a load of old fanny.

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