Disgraced ex-mayor Subhan Shafiq was booed by members of the public as he walked into the council hall on Wednesday night.
At a charged meeting of Milton Keynes Council two public petitions demanded the resignation of all three councillors involved in the decision to give a taxi driver’s licence to a convicted rapist. The answers to several public questions were met with boos from the gallery.
But Liberal Democrat councillor Stuart Burke was defiant about granting the licence, saying: “If I had the chance to make the decision again, I don’t know what decision I’d make.”
Eleven questions put to either council leader Peter Marland or to his Lib Dem counterpart Mr Burke. Lib Dem group leader Douglas McCall was absent through illness.
Vince Peddall asked Mr Burke if it was normal practice to allow a sex offender to become a taxi driver, adding that seven people who had been granted licences were subsequently marked as giving “cause for concern”.
Mr Burke said: “We granted 1,500 licences, so seven people is only half a per cent.
“I’m not sure there are many professions where only half a per cent of people have an issue.”
Although several questions related to Subhan Shafiq, the public could not speak to him directly as the disgraced ex-mayor is not a senior councillor.
Council leader Peter Marland was greeted with laughter when he told the audience: “The council won’t sweep anything under the carpet.”
But the biggest boos greeted Stuart Burke when he said: “I’m sorry for the decision we made because it has caused an enormous amount of upset to an enormous number of people - my friends and family included.”