Jackie Weaver admits she DIDN'T have the authority to kick out chairman from Handforth Parish Council Zoom meetingFebruary 5, 2021
THE star of a chaotic parish council meeting today admitted she didn't have the authority to boot out the chairman from the out-of-control Handforth Parish Council Zoom meeting.
Pandemonium broke out during the online room after Chairman Brian Tolver told Clerk Jackie Weaver that she had “no authority" to take control of the meeting – with the scenes since going viral.
The meeting descended into chaos as councillors traded insults with Jackie Weaver ultimately kicking Mr Tolver out of the conference call.
The tumultuous meeting has since been viewed more than two million times – which at one point heard an unseen councillor mumbling "f*** off" under their breath.
And speaking to BBC Women's Hour this morning, Ms Weaver hinted she wasn't sure who was in charge of the meeting.
She said: "Of that meeting I'm not actually sure who was in charge. We had two councillors who had legitimately called a meeting, and at that point, my job is supporting them to hold that meeting, and to make sure they were able to hold that meeting."
Ms Weaver, who is from the from the Cheshire Association of Local Councils, added: 'I'm not a councillor nor am I member of the parish council."
It was reported today that the root of the disagreement was that the chairman Mr Tolver had not attended a meeting for six months.
But the viral meeting, held on December 10, wasn't the first time chaos has unfolded with chair Mr Tolver having previously been evicted from the earlier 7pm Planning and Environment Committee.
Reflecting on the meeting, Ms Weaver said: "Clearly, there is amusement in the way someone has lost it.
"It's harsh to take some pleasure from that but I'm afraid when you are being bullied, if you can see that the other person has lost it, there is a sense of 'I did OK there'."
And when pressed over how to keep your cool during a testing online meeting, Ms Weaver joked Brits shouldn't wear their pyjamas.
She added: "For me, it's about being focused on what you are trying to achieve."
I'm not actually sure who was in charge
But Mr Tolver said he did not regret how he acted in the meeting.
He said Ms Weaver – who hosted the Zoom call and removed him from it – was just present as a member of the public and "had no status to speak other than when invited".
"If you look at the first meeting you will see I have reason to be angry," he said.
In the first meeting that he was kicked out from, Mr Tolver claimed the agenda was "concealed" and, following a series of interjections and claims the meeting was not legitimate, he was eventually removed.
Mr Tolver refused to recognise the legitimacy of both meetings.
And during the now viral meeting, he lashed out at the clerk, telling her "you have no authority here Jackie Weaver, no authority at all" before being booted out in scenes compared to The Thick of It.
In response, Ms Weaver removed Mr Tolver from the Zoom call and placed him in a virtual waiting room.
Another two councillors were then removed from the call despite one person yelling "read the standing orders".
‘Acting like children’
The chaotic parish council meeting lauded as “comedy gold
Janet Taylor, 60, said she felt "embarrassed to be a resident' of the Cheshire village of Handforth after the meeting descended into a foul-mouthed, hour-long shouting match.
Janet said that in over six years of attending local parish council meetings she had never seen anything as "appalling" as she saw in the meeting which was held on Dec 10 last year.
Janet, who has lived in Handforth near Wilmslow, Cheshire, her entire life, said if any professional had acted in a similar manner "they would have been sacked".
She said she's still incredulous the councillors would "act like children" instead of working for the good of the town.
Janet said: "In six years that's the worst meeting I've ever been to. It's a disgrace.
"I was incredulous that someone could act like that in a meeting. If it was a normal meeting they would have been sacked.
"It's just appalling behaviour, I'm embarrassed to be a resident of Handforth. I didn't expect it to go viral but I can understand.
"It's just unfortunate that they can't work together for the good of Handforth instead of their ego.
"I just find it hard to believe they acted the way they did.
"It's an awful state of affairs but when you watch it they act like children."
Mr Tolver said: "I cannot think of any other council meeting anywhere, that was taken over by an unqualified member of the public like this.
"Removing half the councillors from the meeting, denied half of the voters of the village from being represented – it was an appalling attack on their democratic rights.
"This made tensions rise, and that is why voices were raised in the second meeting.
"In the second meeting, I was trying to explain the correct procedure to this lady and say that her actions were way out of order, but she seems to have believed that she could do whatever she chose."
Since the video went viral, Paddy Power has put Jackie Weaver at 14/1 odds to make it on to I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.
The videos were posted on Twitter with the caption: “I’ve never missed in person meetings more than i did watching this parish council meeting descend into chaos.”
The clips have gathered a cult following with hundreds of memes being created and one person designing t-shirts with the slogan: “You have no authority here Jackie Weaver.”
One person commented: “I propose we grant Jackie Weaver emergency powers to form a clone army.”
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