Since we compiled the above we learned that even elected councillors may have been subject to intimidation. Dr Nik Johnson, Labour’s candidate in the last Parliamentary elections and currently a St Neots District Councillor has made a formal complaint following a fierce attack on him by Councillors Ablewhite and Fuller.
The Riverporter’s editor witnessed this attack from the press desk and although he considered it an overtly aggressive attack on Cllr Johnson, thought of it as ‘handbags’ considering the issue revolved around an interview given by Dr Johnson to Anglia Television about refuse collection. Cllr Ablewhite claimed that Cllr Johnson had mislead the public, falsely stating that services would be cut. These claims were later made in a Conservative leaflet and included a quote from the Chair of the Council who had rebuked Cllr Johnson. Cllr Johnson’s complaint was that not only did Cllrs Ablewhite and Fuller misquote the interview given to the TV (a video of the interview seems to back up this opinion) but also that the Chair of the Council, Cllr Richard West, failed to remain impartial and the leaflet issued by the Conservatives reinforced this inaccurate account of the television interview. Now it seems that the issue has taken a turn for the worse The formal complaint was made 3 months after the incident and these are usually conducted by officers confidentially.
Within days of it being made Dr Johnson’s employers, North West Anglia Trust, received a letter from local Conservative Party Agent, Adam Roberts, challenging why the TV interview had taken place on NHS property. Cllr Johnson claims this was an attempt to get him in trouble with his employers and to prevent him and councillors from speaking about issues and that it raises concerns of a possible leak in the complaints process. Cllr Dr Nik Johnson told The Riverporter that he was grateful to his employers who were robust in their response to Hunts Conservative Association, confirming the TV interview had been held well within the local protocols for the Trust. Cllr Johnson is still awaiting the outcome of his complaint.
Interesting note: Adam Roberts used to compile the Quay News in St Ives, which heavily promoted conservative candidates during elections. Mr Roberts went on to be Communications Manager for the Police & Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite before becoming Agent for Huntingdon Conservative Association.