Hundreds sign petition demanding resignation of Tory councillor in ‘smear’ email

Cllr Scott Harris
Cllr Scott Harris
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HUNDREDS of people have signed a petition calling on a councillor to step down after he suggested smearing a constituent in a leaked email.

Cllr Scott Harris, ward member for Hilsea at Portsmouth City Councillor, had contacted all Tory council members with the suggestion but his email was sent on to the intended target.

He has since apologised to Sameen Farouk, who was the subject of his email.

Cllr Harris’s email also said he was ‘compiling stuff’ on Havant-based domestic violence charity Aurora New Dawn and a trade unionist.

As of last night 672 people had signed the online petition set up by Brian Patton.

On the petition Ben de la Salle, from Portsmouth , said: ‘I’m signing the petition as I’m truly disgusted by the complete and utter lack of respect shown by this poor excuse for a representative of the people.’

Mr Farouk, an Old Portsmouth resident who works at West Sussex County Council, was incorrectly described by Cllr Harris as a Lib Dem.

In his bungled email, the councillor said: ‘Surely there is a Conservative up there who can have a word with someone to investigate his productivity or if he is living up to the value of his contract.’

Councillor Louise Goldsmith, leader of West Sussex County Council, has today distanced herself.

In a statement she said: ‘I have not been approached by any Conservative colleagues, nor have I been asked to intervene in this matter by anyone.

‘I’m disappointed and saddened by the actions and behaviour described in this article and note that apologies have been offered.’

Portsmouth North Conservative chairman Jim Fleming had replied to Cllr Harris’ email saying a complaint had been sent in.

But yesterday he told The News: ‘I understood that a complaint had been made to WS council from seeing it posted on Facebook, but it certainly wasn’t by me.’

He added at the time he believed it had been sent in but this may not be the case.

Cllr Harris did not reply.