Attleborough: Mayor of 'The Godfather' town hits out at bullying
A town council mayor has described as "unacceptable" bullying and harassment of council staff which has been likened to "a scene from The Godfather".
Union Unite alleges staff of Attleborough Town Council in Norfolk have faced a "sustained campaign of bullying" from two councillors.
Mayor Tony Crouch said he and most of his fellow councillors were "appalled at the unacceptable behaviour".
Both councillors "categorically deny" the allegations.
A vote to consider dismissing two councillors - Taila Taylor and Edward Tyrer - on Monday led to "chaotic scenes" after about 50 members of the public refused to leave, despite the council voting to exclude the press and public while the allegations were discussed and voted on, said the union.
The statement said eight of the 15-member council had put forward the motion to dismiss the councillors and were "very much aware of the town council's legal duty to protect council staff from bullying and harassment".
Mr Crouch said in the statement he was "extremely saddened" at the actions of the public who attended.
"It is quite astonishing in 2020 and, on a week when a high-profile celebrity has taken her own life which is linked with online bullying, there are people who turned out to support two bullies," he said.
"Myself and many of my fellow councillors have been appalled at the unacceptable behaviour which has gone on and did our best to put a stop to it only to be abused and threatened ourselves."
Earlier this week Miles Hubbard, Unite regional officer, said the alleged bullying was "an unprovoked vendetta" by a minority of councillors.
Referring to the mafia movie, Mr Hubbard said: "Behind its Miss Marple image, picture-postcard Attleborough is more like a scene from The Godfather."
Another extraordinary meeting will be held in private on 27 February.