In March the Brighton and Hove Labour Party joined with the ruling Green Party to pass an amendment to the City Council investment strategy calling on a boycott of Barclays Bank. In a move reminiscent of the militant left-wing antics of Labour councils in the 1980’s, all the Green and Labour councillors ignored the advice of professional council finance officers and pushed through a hasty ill-thought out proposal that effectively prevents council taxpayers’ money being deposited in Barclays Bank.
At the time Conservative Group Finance Spokesperson Cllr. Ann Norman said:
‘I am appalled that the Greens and Labour are using millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money as a political football in order to try and outdo each other in their unseemly squabble to gain the votes of extreme left-wing supporters.
Barclays are a significant employer of local people in Brighton & Hove and the Council’s professional accountants have assessed them to be one of the safest places to deposit taxpayers’ money.
The Argus has now reported that Smash EDO campaigners are planning a protest during the Queen’s diamond jubilee holiday, with Barclays Bank in North Street the meeting point for the demonstration.
Conservative Councillor Graham Cox said, “A protest in this location will cause huge disruption to businesses, shoppers and tourists. We have never understood the reasons why Labour sponsored this motion to boycott Barclays Bank, and said at the time they were behaving like an extreme protest group rather than as a serious political party with ambitions to run the Council. While the rest of the country celebrates the Diamond Jubilee, the people of Brighton and Hove will be forced to pay host to a protest by unrepresentative extremists apparently attracted here by the Labour/Green policy to boycott a local business.”