Council Chief Executive overrules UNISON on UKIP ban

Published Sep 01, 2017

Council Chief Executive overrules UNISON decision to bar UKIP from attending a hustings in Port Talbot, citing that UKIP have the “same democratic mandate as any other Assembly Member”. Other councils should take note of this “enlightened decision”

UKIP is today congratulating the decision of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council Chief Executive Steven Philips to overrule a ban by trade union UNISON on UKIP Assembly Member Caroline Jones.

Initially, UKIP’s Caroline Jones was invited to attend a meeting of STOPS (Stop Taking Our Public Services) Campaign to be held at Neath Port Talbot council chambers to be held on Friday, September 8. After confirming Caroline’s attendance, her office was informed by the event organiser that she was “inadvertently invited” and that “UNISON have [a] nationally agreed policy that they will not host events that give UKIP a platform”.

In a statement to the BBC, Mark Fisher of UNISON’s Port Talbot branch explained:
"As Neath Port Talbot branch has openly and publicly campaigned against UKIP policies and principles, it would be inappropriate and against our members wishes for UKIP to be included in this event."

Once the story broke, the office of Caroline Jones was contacted by council Chief Executive Steven Phillips who offered an official invitation to the event. Citing the “same democratic mandate as any other Assembly Member” and the fact that “[the] event is taking place on Council premises and in Council time”, the Chief Executive concluded that “it would be inappropriate for you to be excluded… Thus I am extending an invitation to you to attend on behalf of the Council.”

A spokesman from UKIP Wales commented on the development:
“We congratulate Steven Phillips for overruling UNISON and for recognising the equal democratic mandate of UKIP Assembly Members. All representatives of the people of Wales must be heard, and we hope that other councils take note of this enlightened decision and include elected UKIP members at future UNISON meetings held on public property.”


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