Cross party budget deal collapses in Liverpool (after amusing email exchange)
The cross party deal to set a joint budget at Liverpool council has collapsed amid recriminations and allegations about leaks.
The budget working group, as it was known, was due to meet on Monday to ratify the final list of council cuts.
But today the Labour Mayor Joe Anderson and Liberal Democrat leader Richard Kemp have fallen out in spectacular fashion.
The pair fell out in an amusing email exchange, which was leaked to Dale Street Associates within an hour of sending, over details of the cuts being leaked to the ECHO and organisations affected. One such leak is today's story about the golf courses.
My favourite line is in Mayor Anderson's email, where he tells Kemp: "You forget in trying to kid me that you are trying to kid the kid that kidded Billy the Kid, in other words I see you for what you are, someone never to be trusted."
Here is the exchange, enjoy:
From: "Anderson, Joe (Mayor of Liverpool)"
To: "Kemp, Richard" ; The Labour Group Councillors; The Liberal Democrat Group Councillors; The Liberal Group Councillors ; The Green Group Councillors; "Chief Executive, Ged Fitzgerald"
Sent: Saturday, 2 February 2013, 11:06
Your pathetic attempts to try to shift blame to Labour group members is dishonest although predictable from you. However your attempts will actually confirm to others what a despicable character you actually are a fact known to me since the first time I set eyes on you.
You forget in trying to kid me that you are trying to kid the kid that kidded Billy the Kid, in other words I see you for what you are, someone never to be trusted.
Two facts that blow your claims out of the water are as follows: first,the Labour group had never seen any options until after you had e-mailed the CEO to make your erroneous and false claim.
Secondly at the same time you where out delivering political leaflets revealing information deemed confidential as agreed as principles by everyone taking part in the Budget Working Group.
The final point is you claim that agreements that had been reached at the BWG had been changed again is false as you know only the BWG can agree the recommendations to go forward and there was planned for Monday another BWG to finalise the proposals for Mayoral Select. [Committee]. Another failed attempt to try to cover up your scurrilous activities.
There is a description often said to describe someone like you, it goes like this, "he could crawl under a snakes belly with a top hat on" absolutely perfect and leaves me no room to add any more. Other than to say there is now no need for BWG on Monday.
Here is Richard Kemp's response:
From: Richard Kemp
To: "Anderson, Joe (Mayor of Liverpool)" ; The Labour Group Councillors ;The Liberal Democrat Group Councillors ; The Liberal Group Councillors; The Green Group Councillors; "Chief Executive, Ged Fitzgerald"
Cc: Ged Fitzgerald Chief Executive
Sent: Saturday, 2 February 2013, 12:59
Dear Mayor Anderson,
Thank you for your somewhat intemperate e-mail to which I now respond.
I have no need to shift the blame for leaks to the Labour Group because that is where they originate. Since the private and confidential meeting on 25th January two articles relating to items on that agenda have been in the press namely the ones that relate to nurseries and charging for football p[itches. Whether this was an official or unofficial leak I do not know.But Labour cabinet members were quoted in them. I certainly know that they did not come from Cllr Moloney or I. I am, however copying the Chief Executive in to this correspondence and asking him if these 'leaks' were the subject of offcical press releases or responses from the Press Office.
As I point in my note to you last night the words of your staff, presumably on your instruction, contradict your e-mail. Your press staff told the Echo last night that changes HAD been made to the decisions of 25 January. Do you wonder that I get angry when the council is behaving so duplicitously.
With regard to the Allerton Golf Course article I responded to requests from Club members. Where they got the ionformation from I do now know but when others have breached confidences and matters are in public I certainly will respond to them.
I note the dissolution of the Budget Working Group and regret that. Since I became Leader I have tried to engage constructively with you and indeed have suggested a number of things which subsequently appeared in your documents.
Keeping the Liberal Democrats out of the process will not stop leaks - they do not come from us. It will, however, leave us free to oppose what you are doing far more freely. That is what we will do.
Cllr Richard Kemp CBE,
Leader, Liverpool Liberal Democrats
PS I will not be sending this to David Bartlett - let's see if he gets it anyway!