Ludlow Town Council’s representational committee was forced to temporarily abandon its Zoom meeting as a result of the disruption last night, which included repeated shouting of a racial slur and Nazi flags and obscene messages appearing on the screen.
Attempts to remove the unwelcome guest from the meeting proved fruitless after it was established they had hacked into the feed. The matter will now be passed to the police.
A video clip showing a person being beheaded was streamed on screen on repeat for around 20 seconds, and at one point the hacker, speaking in a North American accent, said: “You can’t even run a Zoom meeting, how do you expect to run a city?”
Vulgar messages advertising “child porn” and announcing “I’m sick of this” were also shown on screen to councillors and members of the public who had logged in to observe proceedings.
Committee members attempted to ignore the interruptions and press ahead with the meeting for about 15 minutes, but when their own faces started to be superimposed in front of Nazi flags it was decided that it could not continue.
Committee chairman Councillor Glenn Ginger, who had earlier been reluctant to move the meeting to a different Zoom link than that which had been publicly advertised, conceded enough was enough and made the decision to end the call.
The meeting reconvened after a short break, using a new link, and members were able to finish their discussions uninterrupted.
Shropshire Councillor Andy Boddington, who represents Ludlow North, attended the meeting and described the intrusions as “extremely sick”.
He added: “Council meetings are disrupted from time to time by protestors. For better or for worse, it is part of the process of democracy.
“But this was particularly offensive interruption because the foul-mouthed idiot was not commenting on council business. It was just a stupid diatribe by a mindless troll with nothing better to do.”
Town clerk Gina Wilding said she would send the recording to the police.