Watch the moment when tempers flared after a town council meeting in Milton Keynes was captured on camera and reported to police.
WARNING: THIS VIDEO CONTAINS EXPLICIT LANGUAGE
The drama erupted after Tuesday’s Bletchley and Fenny Stratford Town council meeting, where a charity campaigner was accused of hogging the floor for too long.
Vice chair Richard Graham was filmed shouting at a member of the public and accusing him of being racist.
“Mr Graham said he called him black. In fact he said ‘Oi, you in the flat cap’. I don’t think that’s racist,” said campaigner Rosemary Smith.
“It ended really badly, with Mr Graham losing his temper and pushing and shoving. It is not how you’d expect a vice chairman of a councill to behave.”
Police were called to deal with an accusation of racist behaviour and another allegation of assault by Mr Graham on a fellow councillor.
The cause of the row was Fenny Stratford George Street community Centre, which was ‘sold’ to the town council for £1 by Milton Keynes Council more than two years ago.
The George Street charity committee is accusing the town council of failing to claim £33,000 in grant money to give the building a much-needed renovation and allow it to be used as a homeless shelter at weekends.
Mrs Smith said she asked to speak at Tuesday’s meeting in a bid to resolve the issues.
Mr Graham, in an interview with MKFM radio today, said Mrs Smith has refused to stop speaking when her allocated three minute slot ran out.
The meeting was ended with Mrs Smith in mid flow.
Mr Graham, who runs a security company, told MKFM he was defending Mrs Smith before things got heated.
He said: “Rosemary was pointing her finger in my face I told her I wasn’t going to stand for that I’m not going to be bullied by them and you’re not going to bully a member of staff.
“Her husband called me a black so-and-so and verbally abused me and that’s where my tempo went up a bit.
“I asked him to say it to my face and there was that flashpoint, what you see in that video is that two-minute flashpoint. I then went back inside.”
Rosemary Smith said: “Richard leapt from his seat and started verbally abusing me in the hall. This is when the video starts.
“He lost the argument basically and that’s when he brought up the racism card, accusing everybody of being a racist. Nobody said a word.”
She added: “Town council meetings have got a bit heated in the past – but this is the first time it’s been this much of a fiasco.”
Meanwhile no action has been discussed about the fate of the George Street community centre.