Conservative councillors have criticised the Green Administration for refusing to condemn the disruption to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Brighton & Hove being proposed by anarchist group Smash EDO.
At a meeting of the Full Council last week, a motion put forward by the Conservatives, calling on Smash EDO to abandon their plans, was opposed by Green members including Cllr. Ben Duncan – their Community Safety Cabinet Member and the Council’s sole member of the Sussex Police Authority.
Cllr. Duncan had already been criticised for controversial comments following the arrest of over 50 Smash EDO protestors at a previous demonstration, which cost taxpayers over £300,000 to police.
It is Green Party policy to abolish the monarchy, something they describe as an archaic institution. Cllr. Duncan has already written on his blog that he is getting “sick and tired of hearing about the Jubilee” and expressed his hope that members of the Royal Family are “significantly inconvenienced” by demonstrations over the Diamond Jubilee weekend. He added that his favourite badge design from the campaign group Coalition of Resistance, is “Stuff the Jubilee”.
Cllr. Graham Cox who sponsored the Council motion said: “At election time, the Green Party tend to keep quiet about their policy to abolish the Monarchy because they know that the vast majority of residents in Brighton & Hove are huge admirers of the Queen. We are extremely disappointed, although not altogether surprised, at Cllr. Duncan’s refusal to call on Smash EDO to abandon their plans to disrupt the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Brighton & Hove.”
Cllr. Tony Janio, co-sponsor of the motion added: “EDO is a perfectly legal manufacturer of defence parts and equipment, some of which are used by our own RAF. In addition, they are a significant employer of local people. Frankly, Smash EDO and their supporters should be ashamed of themselves. We note that the Leader of the Council, Bill Randall, made a point of refusing to join in the debate – perhaps he was ashamed by the stance taken by some of his Green Party colleagues.”