News — 29 April 2012

Over the weekend, Cllr Ben Duncan, who is the current Green Cabinet Member for Policing and Community safety has been the subject of much attention after further alarming comments on the social media site Twitter.

His call for the public to join the ‘Smash EDO’ demonstration on the weekend of the Queens Jubilee has been met with anger by local businesses who are already suffering from massive Green imposed parking charge increases, and who worry that the opportunity to bring in much needed cash will be thwarted as the public stay away due to his comments.

He then went on to outline how the city could benefit from having licensed Cannabis Cafes, which would he claims would boost tourism, which is presumably his economic plan to make up the shortfall in tourists being driven away from the city after the Green administration hiked parking fees.

But the final straw came when he was challenged to say if he himself smoked cannabis. His response: “I only smoke Cannabis when murdering, raping and looting” is totally unacceptable. These comments are at best irresponsible, and at worst highly offensive to anyone who has suffered from rape.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, Leader of the Labour and Cooperative Group on Brighton and Hove City Council said:

“This is the latest in a series of irresponsible comments from a senior Green Councillor. Ben Duncan should think about the wider effect of his statements and for him to make light of the serious crime of rape in this way is plain wrong. I call on Cllr Bill Randall, the current Leader of the Council, and Jason Kitcat, the next Leader, to remove Cllr Duncan from any position of responsibility.”

Councillor Warren Morgan, the Labour and Cooperative spokesperson for Policing and Community safety said:

“It is not appropriate for Cllr Duncan to hold responsibilities for crime and community safety, and be the city’s representative on Sussex Police Authority, when he advocates participation in demonstrations which have in the past become violent, when says the sale of cannabis is a potential benefit to the city’s economy, and when he makes light of the serious crime of rape.”

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Caroline Penn

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