Labour leader defiant over anti-Tory placards at Hatfield incinerator protest

THE leader of the Welwyn Hatfield Labour group has defended his decision to hand out placards bearing anti-Tory slogans at the Hatfield incinerator protest.

Cllr Kieran Thorpe said he made “no apologies whatsoever”, after being criticised for distributing signs denouncing the Conservative-led county council on Saturday.

The South Hatfield ward councillor brought dozens of placards with him to the march, with 10 of them bearing the Welwyn Hatfield Labour group logo and the message: “Hatfield says no to the toxic Tory incinerator.”

But the move was slammed by several Conservative politicians, including Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps and borough councillor Kim Langley, who both wrote letters into the Welwyn Hatfield Times to complain.

Mr Shapps, who shared the stage with Cllr Thorpe at the rally in White Lion Square, said the Labour leader had brought himself into “disrepute”.

“To turn up to a cross-party rally with those placards is really vindictive, and went against the spirit of the event. It was a blot on an otherwise good day,” he said.

But Cllr Thorpe remained defiant.

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“It’s a cross-party campaign against the Conservative council at county level, who are hell bent on building the incinerator,” he said.

“I think it’s fantastic the Conservative borough council and the Conservative MP are prepared to stand against their county colleagues on this, but it would be myopic for people to forget who is proposing the incinerator when the elections come around.

“I make no apologies whatsoever for bringing those placards.”