Jackie Weaver did NOT have the authority, report says

The Shropshire council officer who became an internet sensation when she removed councillor from an online meeting, did not have the authority, an independent investigation has found.

.Jackie Weaver, who was guest at the Black Country Chamber Women in Leadership team's event at Weston Park earlier this month
.Jackie Weaver, who was guest at the Black Country Chamber Women in Leadership team's event at Weston Park earlier this month

Jackie Weaver, from Prees, went viral when a controversial meeting of Handforth Parish Council, across the Cheshire border was seen by millions of people.

The bad tempered meeting that Mrs Weaver was brought in to oversee, disintegrated into shouting and councillors losing their temper. As chief officer of the Cheshire Association of Local Councils, she muted some of the councillors, only to be told she 'did not have the authority' a term that has become a catchphrase.

The parish council Zoom meeting in December 2020 saw Mrs Weaver become an instant celebrity, making television appearances, and there was even a rap written mentioning her. She has gone on to write a book and appear at functions across the region.

However, an independent investigation reports that Handforth Parish Council has decided to publish, say that the muting of microphones and removing individual councillors from the meeting was something she did not have the authority to have.

The investigation by Bevan Brittain said: "Her purpose in attending was to facilitate the meetings going ahead, and it is understandable why she acted as she did. That said, we find that she was not acting in an official capacity at the meetings. She did not have authority to manage the attendance at those meetings, which she fully accepts.

“Faced with what were unusual and difficult circumstances, and the deep-seated issues underpinning those circumstances, we can understand why she acted as she did, despite her action being without any formal footing in terms of appropriate process and procedure.”

The Handforth Parish Council Zoom meeting of December 2020 was one of the internet sensations of lockdown, shared by millions across the world.

The internet footage showed Mrs Weaver being told by the chairman of the meeting that he was the only one who could remove people from the meeting.

“You have no authority here Jackie Weaver - no authority at all,” he said.

He himself was then removed from the meeting.

Other councillors then told Mrs Weaver to read and understand standing orders.

Mrs Weaver told the BBC that in her opinion she had not removed the councillors from the meeting but muted them into a waiting room.

She said she was saddened by cost of the reports - put at £85,000.

Most Read

Most Read

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News