I’m usually an admirer of Ipswich Spy, the political blog in Ipswich which has regular informative articles on the activities of local authorities and councillors. On some stories the writing on the blog is ahead of the so called professional journalism at the
Morning Evening Star.
But yesterday they published an article which could see their editors end up in court on charges of libel and defamation of character.
The story I am referring to centres around my fellow Conservative Cllr John Carnall. John is the leader of the Conservative Group at Ipswich Borough Council and when the Conservative-Lib Dem coaltion was in power at the Borough John was the excellent Finance Portfolio Holder who no one could really lay a political hand on: his intellect and no-nonsense approach made him formidable. I worked with John on the Borough Council as a Committee chairman of Community Improvements and in my final year as the Chairman of the influential Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Although John, as an Executive member, could be a bit forthright in his views, he was always polite and never caused me offence. This also seems to be the nature of the views of County Cllr Andrew Cann and Borough Cllr Tanya Maclure from their Comments under the Ipswich Spy piece.
So, when I read the Ipswich Spy article, I immediately thought it was a hatchet-job. The article goes out to defame his character and although we can all expect a bit of rough and tumble in the political jungle, Ipswich Spy may have crossed the line. One sentence in particular may see Cllr Carnall reach for his solicitor’s telephone number. Frankly, the whole article is a disgrace and should be withdrawn with a full apology offered to Cllr Carnall.
Now, I have been active in the Ipswich Conservative Party for nearly nine years, was the constituency chairman for three years and therefore know many of the influential members well. Ipswich Spy have recently being going round saying they KNOW what happened on planning, they KNOW what happened at the St Margaret’s ward Conservative Party candidate selection meeting. Well, based on what has been written in the article and the style and tone I KNOW who their source is: all I can say is Ipswich Spy has shown themselves to be very naive and easily influenced.
I hope they can restore their reputation for good, informative and interesting blogging but for now I am afraid they have let themselves down.