Page last updated at 10:56 GMT, Friday, 30 October 2009

Blog sparks mass council walkout

Former Somerton Town Council vice chairman Anthony Canvin
Anthony Canvin began the walkout

Councillors in a rural town have staged a mass resignation after becoming tired of criticism from a blogger.

Ex-vice chairman Anthony Canvin said 11 of Somerton Town Council's 15 members resigned at a meeting on Tuesday.

On his Muck&Brass blog Niall Connolly called members "jackasses" and said a leaflet was "like a Nazi call to arms".

However, Mr Connolly rejected the idea that the councillors had resigned as a result of his blog. He attended the meeting himself on Tuesday.

He said: "If blaming Muck&Brass helps these ex-councillors to sleep at night then that's fine but it ignores the truth.

"These councillors had, for too long, ignored the community which they were meant to serve."

The council will have to hold new elections as there are now too few councillors to make decisions.

'Ethnic cleansing'

Mr Connolly began his blog in 2006.

In one entry, he writes that a council pamphlet entitled Good Citizens and regarding voting rights "reads more like a Nazi call to arms or an invitation to ethnic cleansing."

In another, he complains "clown" councillors ignored democracy and behaved as though they had "only just discovered the word".

South Somerset District Council will have to arrange new elections.

Businessman Mr Canvin, 61, said: "I'm not going to tolerate it when I'm working for the town.

"I said, 'I've had enough' and handed in my resignation."

A motion was then proposed at the meeting that members leave due to "impossible working conditions".

That led to 11 resignations with another councillor walking out in sympathy, and one more on holiday.

That left just two councillors, not enough for the one third quorum required.

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