Blogger news

Sandwell adviser suspended by Labor after alleged assault on blogger

Councilor Steve Melia is shown in a video by Julian Saunders aka Sandwell Skidder

A Labor source said adviser Steve Melia has been administratively suspended from the Labor Party, pending investigation.

It is not known when this decision took place.

Julian Saunders, who blogs as Sandwell Skidder, was outside Oldbury Council House on Tuesday filming elected members ahead of a plenary council meeting when the incident occurred.

Mr Saunders, 63, could be heard in the video telling advisers, ‘Back to the future? More corruption? More cronyism? More incompetence?

Councilor Melia then walked by, pointed a finger at Mr Saunders and snatched the phone from his hand in what was described as an assault.

A West Midlands Police spokesperson confirmed the force is investigating, but so far no one has been arrested.

The incident took place on the property of the Sandwell Council.

A spokesperson for the authority said: “We have been made aware of the matter and will discuss it with the member in question.

“The board will review any appropriate action in accordance with its ethical framework that governs the conduct of elected members.

“The board expects all members to adhere to the standards set out in the member code of conduct. The council supports freedom of expression and speech and the right of the press to attend council meetings that are held in public.