Labour councillor in sacking row over Liberal Democrat nurse

As the Manchester Evening News reports:

Mayor elect in ‘sacking bid’ row
A MAN earmarked for mayor is accused of abusing his position in a bid to get a political rival sacked from her job as a nurse.

[Labour councillor] Robin Parker, who is due to take over as mayor of Rochdale next month, admits repeatedly emailing bosses of Rochdale Infirmary asking them to take action against Coun Jean Ashworth for publicly criticising the trust.

In his emails he has cited the case of Manchester nurse Karen Reissman who was sacked for speaking out against changes.

He claims he was not using his official town hall role when he complained about Coun Ashworth’s online diary.

But he admits revealing he was a councillor when he felt Pennine Acute Hospital Trust (PAHT) managers were stalling over his complaint. He has since told the M.E.N. that he did not aim for Coun Ashworth to be sacked.

Hospital bosses say they will not take action against Coun Ashworth, who represents Smallbridge and Firgrove, and works as a healthcare assistant, for comments she made in her role as a councillor.

Rochdale MP Paul Rowen has referred the issue to the standards board – who have the power to suspend councillors found guilty of breaching guidelines…

He said: “This type of bullying, aggressive behaviour should not be tolerated and I feel in the light of the publication of his crude attempt to get Jean sacked he should consider whether he is the type of person fit to represent our borough.”

Lib Dem Coun Ashworth has been an outspoken critic of reorganisation plans which will see the infirmary lose some services…

John Saxby chief executive of Pennine Acute Hospitals replied to Coun Parker’s complaints saying: “The comments about which you complained and which she has made as a local councillor in her councillor’s diary are not a breach of her terms and conditions of employment.”

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