Devon councillor's #MeToo moment in meeting

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Media caption,

Emma Brennan revealed she had been the victim of an abusive relationship

A councillor said she was disgusted at having to attend a meeting with a council member accused of sexually harassing female staff members.

Emma Brennan revealed she had been the victim of an abusive relationship.

Her comments follow a standards investigation by Devon County Council which found Councillor Brian Greenslade guilty of sexual harassment.

Mr Greenslade now has restricted access to council buildings and has been suspended by the Liberal Democrats.

Chairman of the council Caroline Chugg tried to stop Ms Brennan making the remarks on a point of order on several occasions during Thursday afternoon's meeting.

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Councillor Caroline Chugg talked over the top of Emma Brennan's impromptu speech

Ms Brennan said: "This is my only chance to raise this, and I know the council is doing all it can legally on this issue, so I'm, going to hold my hand up for one second, and say, 'me too'.

"I have been a victim of sexual violence in the past in an abusive and manipulative relationship.

"As a victim I find it disgusting to be forced to share the council chamber with a man who has been found to have sexually assaulted female members of staff.

"He is allowed to keep his high standing, his £12,600 allowance funded by Devon taxpayers, to speak at this meeting, and propose motions, and this is wrong.

"It is putting him above the feelings, needs, the right to feel comfortable and safe in the council."

Image caption,
The allegations against Councillor Brian Greenslade go back to the 2000s

Councillor Greenslade, 69, has not been sacked as a councillor and will continue to serve the people of Barnstaple North in Devon.

He has released a statement through his solicitor indicating that he planned to challenge the council's decision to censure him.

Mr Greenslade claims he was not given a fair hearing "as required by the Human Rights Act and the council's own constitution".

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