Milton Keynes councillor punished for telling a female police officer she 'looks young enough to be at school'

An official investigation that likely cost thousands of pounds has punished a Milton Keynes councillor for remarks made to a female police officer.

Wednesday, 21st November 2018, 12:08 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st November 2018, 1:12 pm
Andy Dransfield insists he was not being disrespectful

Outspoken Andy Dransfield was deemed out of order for telling a female police officer that she 'looked young enough to be at school'.

However the 71-year-old was cleared of being disrespectful after telling Labour councillor Zoe Nolan to “get a sense of humour, you silly woman” during the same parish meeting, the Standards hearing decided.

The hearing on Friday was organised by MK Council and included a panel of councillors, a legal director and a lawyer from Oxford as investigating officer. They ruled Mr Dransfield breached the code of conduct in that he did not show respect to the police officer.

Labour councillor Zoe Nolan

His punishment will be an official censure and 'mediation training'. He must also apologise to the police constable.

Both comments were made by Mr Dransfield at a meeting of Loughton and Great Holm parish council last November.

The police officer was giving members a presentation about crime in the area when Mr Dransfield joked that she looked young enough to be at school,

He then made matters worse with a second non-PC quip, telling her after her speech: “You can go home and do your homework now.”

When Cllr Nolan interjected to complain, Mr Dransfield made his ‘silly woman’ retort.

“It just wasn’t funny,” said one member. “It is difficult in my view to see how saying “silly woman” can amount to respecting others."

MK police area commander Yvette Hitch lodged an official complaint at the time.

Mr Dransfield, who is an Independent councillor for the Loughton and Shenley ward, said today: “This was a huge cost over a bit of banter and I'm sure it will cost the public thousands of pounds. It took a year to arrange. I think political correctness has gone crazy.”

He added: "It’s a standard joke that police officers look younger as people get older. She was probably in her early 20s and she did look incredibly young. But then I’m incredibly old, so police officers, doctors and people look younger and younger to me... I’m really sorry if I offended this lovely young police officer in any way."

He called Zoe Nolan a "self-appointed inspector of the political correctness police".

Councillor Nolan said: "I still think calling me a silly woman was not appropriate. It is abusive.

"I think it was very irresponsible for one councillor, who is in the public eye, to say this to another councillor. It is important that people show respect to each other."

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