Barnes impersonates Pits'n'Pots and is now suspended! - UPDATED 8/10


06 Oct 2009
Posted by PitsPots
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By Tony Walley.

[caption id="attachment_4732" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Mike Barnes"]Mike Barnes[/caption]

Tonight Mike Barnes's future as Labour Group Leader hangs in the balance as the party's National Executive have placed him under 'administrative suspension' with immediate effect.

Yesterday, Mike Barnes admitted to impersonating someone from this website to try and find information about a rumoured news story in Cheshire West and Chester council.

A BBC investigation has concluded that Barnes told a member of the communications department at Cheshire West and Chester council that he was representing a news website in Stoke-on-Trent.  He also admitted that he used a false name.

Barnes denies claiming that he was from BBC Radio Stoke but admitted to me yesterday that he had claimed to represent Pits'n'Pots and in doing so he used a false name.

Barnes made a full apology to me and my partners and stated that he had only acted to quell the rumours that were circulating the Civic Centre.

At the outset of the investigation we were contacted by the BBC and were given both the name and telephone number used.

Pits'n'Pots then made contact with the press and communications department At Stoke-on-Trent City Council and advised them that we thought there was a possibility that the identified the number was a Stoke-on-Trent City Council phone number. They ran a check on the number which confirmed our suspicions.

Shortly after Barnes made contact with us and confessed that it was him that made the calls.

Whilst accepting that Mike Barnes made these calls without any malice and with all good intent. We were disappointed that he had implicated us in a matter that we had already decided was not a news story in which we were interested. We have accepted his apology and we do not intend to take the matter further.

We would however co-operate with any enquiry that emerges from this incident.

That though may not be enough to prevent this matter going before the Standards Committee.

A statement from Stoke-on-Trent City Council states: "Stoke-on-Trent City councillors must adhere to a strict code of conduct, and in cases where their standard of integrity and honesty is deemed to have breached that code, the Standards Committee may be asked to look at an issue regarding an elected member by fellow councillors or a member of the public".

"If the case is deemed to have been a breach of the members’ code and adequate evidence is provided, the Standards Committee will meet to decide the appropriate action to be taken. The city council takes any potential breach of the code very seriously and demands high standards of conduct are maintained by its members at all times".

BBC Radio Stoke's hourly news bulletin claims that the number was investigated by them and found to be from the city council but we refute that as we informed the BBC investigator that we had found that the number originated from the Civic Centre and was confirmed by the press and communications department.

Barnes who is currently on holiday,  absolutely denies that he used the name of the BBC in any phone calls to the authority concerned.  Last night Mike Barnes issued the following statement to the Labour Group within the City Council and the press:

6 October 2009

"I wish to totally refute any allegations that I impersonated or intended to impersonate a BBC reporter in any way at any time.
I welcome the Labour Party's investigations into this matter, as well as any potential referral to the Standards Board, and will
co-operate to the best of my ability in order to clear this matter up.

I am 100% certain that the claims cannot stand up to scrutiny and hope that it will be dealt with quickly upon my return next week"

Mike Barnes | Longton South Labour Councillor | Labour Group Leader

UPDATE :

We have just spoken to Cheshire West and Chester Council and can confirm that rumours circulating about Steve Robinson were part of a "malicious, totally unfounded and possibly defamatory premeditated campaign".

Any comments relating to Mr Robinson therefore will now be deleted to avoid any possible legal action.

Mike Barnes has issued a further statement today:

8 October 2009

The Labour Party, quite rightly, have acted quickly in taking any allegation regarding its representatives seriously, and made an administrative suspension of myself (attached).

I have asked the City Council to referred the matter to the Standards Board in order that this can be openly investigated and reported, in the public interest.

I have also submitted a formal complaint against Stoke-on-Trent City Council and its officers from the Media Department, as BBC Radio Stoke claim that Stoke-on-Trent City Council made a statement, falsely claiming I had admitted the current allegations against me, which added credibility to their story.

I hope this matter is dealt with as quickly as possible.

Mike Barnes | Longton South Labour Councillor | Labour Group Leader

Read : Labour Chief in BBC Hoax Probe on BBC

Read : Councillor being investigated amid claims of impersonating a reporter on The Sentinel

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Guest's picture

crewegwyn: Well, from the perspective of somebody living down the road, and with 20+ years as a councillor, I find the idea of a councillor pretending to be from the media in order (presumably) to obtain information he/she otherwise couldn’t get extraordinary.I’d be amazed if this didn’t go to Standards – and would expect them to take action.

I agree.

It's bizarre. I'm seriously wondering if there's (yet another) scandal about to break.

Guest's picture

That is utterly astonishing. I really d

That is utterly astonishing. I really don't know what else to say. What an eejit!

Guest's picture

.........I do hope it was not me

.........I do hope it was not me

Guest's picture

Thats allright he's been impersonating a

Thats allright he's been impersonating a councillor for a long time.
Bet nothing happens to him?????

Guest's picture

HALLOWEEN COMES EARLY IN SUPER STOKE!

HALLOWEEN COMES EARLY IN SUPER STOKE!

They'll all come out for this one!

Up first will be the BNP who will want all black people sent back home and Mike Barnes to be sacked.

Next will be the Independents who won't know what to do but will follow whatever the Tories tell them.

Next, the Liberals who think everyone else is both right and wrong.

A party piece will be by the Tories who sit in the 'departure lounge' and will speak wisely about 'going'.

Mark Meredith is having his suit pressed as I speak.

A couple of ex's will pontificate.

REAL JOURNALISTS!(and I include myself in that category) will puff and blow about all things wise.

Wolfey, please.Do you have to?

Oh, but those down there (yes down there in nowhere land) will spy their chance. Oh yes.

Mike is a good guy and has the backing of all of the Labour Party and any suicide notes forthcoming, will be and can only come from, the usual suspects....don't live here, not born here, gone tomorrow sorts.

Oh, but they will spy their little chance, no doubt.

Guest's picture

Gary, I'll get there first if you like.

Gary, I'll get there first if you like. If Mike Barnes did indeed do this then he should certainly resign as leader. If the allegation is true, then it is one step away from fraud. Are we really saying that this sort of behaviour is acceptable for a senior councillor? let alone a leader of a party grouping?

Perhaps this is why the Labour government are so keen to bring in ID cards. Its to stop Labour group leaders from posing as members of the press.

Guest's picture

Oh, give these people a microphone, lets

Oh, give these people a microphone, lets make it a 'strictly come Ice idol X factor' parade of the unwashed.

Come on, please step up and grasp your moment of fame!

A few helpful hints:

Labour liars, murderers and thieves.
Labour are useless and should be kicked out!

There's more....

Labour are corrupt, cheats and....here it is.....'Impersonators'!

Ooooh, that hurt!

But let's continue..."how can we ever trust them ever ever again"?
To run a 'great City such as this' (trust us Neo's instead).

Let's have it right, Councillors have impersonated Councillors for years now.
and we pay them to do so!

But to impersonate the B......B.....C is worthy of the scaffold, no doubts and P&Ps requires sequestration, castration and liquidation, for starters! Then the serious bit starts!

I've been impersonating the Sentinel's journalists for years, and you know what? No-ones noticed.
You know why? Because, just because, that's all.

So Shaun, a meagre 3/10 surely you can do betetr than that. Surely the great Tory warhorse astride his trusty charger can lance a like a trojan? The BNP are FOAHHH...MING at the mouth and chomping at the bit ready to deliver an 'all Labour Stalinist Gulag' script, so come Shauny.

Guest's picture

I agree with Dave, lets do something, gr

I agree with Dave, lets do something, gross misconduct, THEY WORK FOR US, got it in one.

By the way, do a brill, Frankey Howard I do- No Misses Ohhhhhh! titer yeay not.
Or Harry H. Corbet- You dirty ol' man.

Guest's picture

Well, from the perspective of somebody l

Well, from the perspective of somebody living down the road, and with 20+ years as a councillor, I find the idea of a councillor pretending to be from the media in order (presumably) to obtain information he/she otherwise couldn't get extraordinary.

I'd be amazed if this didn't go to Standards - and would expect them to take action.

Guest's picture

Does this mean that Mr. Tony Walley has

Does this mean that Mr. Tony Walley has at last got wise to Barnes now that he too has fallen victim to his machinations? We can only hope.

Guest's picture

Don't count on it Stacey. Tony "The comm

Don't count on it Stacey. Tony "The communist" thinks the sun shines out of his behind.
Pitsnpots is nothing more than a Marxist run propaganda machine. River is bang on and has got you running scared!

I cant wait for the time when Alby Walker runs this city and you leftie traitors pay for your deceit!

Guest's picture

I can't believe I'm reading this! Someon

I can't believe I'm reading this! Someone is sure to take this to Standards. Dan Barton must have loved thinking that Tony Walley was responsible, I bet he was gutted when it turned out to be Barnes. Barnes is struggling to retain the support of his own group surely his position is untenable now? I bet Joy, Joan & Dave are wetting themselves at this!
To be honest I've listened to every interview on this site and I don't think that Tony favour Barnes at all. If he favours anyone it's Ross Irving. The only reason the BNP supporters criticise this site is because the writers especially Tony have a go at the BNP for not doing interviews or releasing policies. I think it is right to bring this tactic to the public arena.

Guest's picture

What a twonk! #LabourFail

What a twonk!

#LabourFail

Guest's picture

What on earth has it come to!! Are ou

What on earth has it come to!!

Are our Councillors so used to being ignored, lied to and kept in the dark that they have to resort to such daft measures to get information. If the new Chief Executive wants to achieve anything .. he needs to bring credability back to our ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES. We voted (or chose to sit on our arse) them in to advocate our views and get to information. It used to be that they actually made decisions .. but central government doesn't think any Council can do that!!

I don't agree with what appears to have happened here .. but can understand the sheer bloody frustration of 60 people wanting a say in running their City but being told at almost every juncture that they can't.

I trust that one day that everyone (especially M.P.'s) will wake up to the left over failed Blair bullshit policies that have practically decimated this City for a decade!!

God bless the City and all who sail in her!!

TrueStokie

Guest's picture

Now I have found the site I've had a goo

Now I have found the site I've had a good look around some interesting debates.

You guys should market this site more, some really interesting stuff, if only you could get rid of the personal attacks from people and stick to the subject this site could become really popular.

But getting back to the subject in hand. It is about time people of this city started to get off their backsides and doing something to get rid of people like Mike Barnes and a few others. Who is going to put the complaint in, does it need to be this site the BBC someone from Longton or can anyone do it? Let us fire a shot across the bows of ALL councillors and show them that THEY WORK FOR US and if we are not happy we will do something about it.

Guest's picture

Barnbrook? Isn't he that BNP bloke who s

Barnbrook? Isn't he that BNP bloke who said dead bodies were everywhere?

Bit different methinks to asking a question of someone's suspension, don't you think?
(oops, me and my big mouth).

...and on the seventh day he rested.
No he didn't! He wrote: THOUGH SHALT NOT BE AN IMPERSONATOR!

I can't speak for someone else Legion, I can only say I wouldn't have.......

Guest's picture

I heard about this yesterday when the BB

I heard about this yesterday when the BBC investigator got in touch. I laughed then and I'm still laughing now.

I'm not sure of the thought process that he used but I would have thought any councillor from Stoke-on-Trent would have picked something other than PnP to use as a cover. I bet Dan Barton was beside himself when he heard that someone from PnP had been calling another council pretending to be from the BBC..

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How?

How?

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Who do you do.

Who do you do.

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I too only found this site recently. I d

I too only found this site recently. I don't know why you are having a go at the author over this. At least he has published this story which in light of the Barnbrook - Stoke BNP article, I think that shows balance reporting. Don't you [those of a right wing BNP orientation need not answer, as they only ever see things one way - theirs!]

Guest's picture

Just visiting the site after reading an

Just visiting the site after reading an article on the Guardian. Nice to see that even the most innocuous of stories can bring out the best of the right wing establishment.

With Councillors with this level of morals, you do deserve all you get in Stoke on Trent

Guest's picture

I have just heard this on BBC Radio Stok

I have just heard this on BBC Radio Stoke but this is the only place on the web I can find the story.

So one of our councillors has been impersonating a BBC reporter? Or someone from this site? Lucky I don't live in Longton South, if I did I think I wouild want to put a complaint in about this

Guest's picture

The only one foaming at the mouth Elsby

The only one foaming at the mouth Elsby is you
a week or so ago when barnbrook was caught out lying
you were working yourself up into a frenzy about it
now the shoe is on the other foot :-)
so a straight question is what he did wrong ?
straight answer please ( as if )

Guest's picture

As a newcomer to this site (I'm Gary, re

As a newcomer to this site (I'm Gary, really) I'd just like to say how very impersonating you all are.

Scores to settle?

Guest's picture

Gosh, the Labour Party have some morals

Gosh, the Labour Party have some morals left after all. I wonder what Gary will have to say after backing Mike Barnes earlier on?

Joy Garner and others must be laughing their socks off. I wonder if Joan Bell might make another of his weekly defections and rejoin Labour if Barnes goes?

Guest's picture

Who knows - the equal answer to both you

Who knows - the equal answer to both your points truestokie is neither press department has issued any words of wisdom to clarify...

Guest's picture

Hey, Southern boy! I am quite prepare

Hey, Southern boy!

I am quite prepared to roll out a list of SEVERE and downright crimes, commited by 'senior' figures in public life in our wonderful council.....

....but were slipped under the carpet by the 'investigators'.

But I will keep my BIG mouth shut for the duration.

I hate duplicity and double standards..

But if heads pop up over the parapet and start shouting the odds...

Yours,
in a private and public capacity speaking for all mankind.
Gary.

Be warned, I have aq conviction for being politically insane.

Guest's picture

Southern Boy, I think the article makes

Southern Boy,
I think the article makes p&p's position quite clear. You can tell by the tone of the article that these guys are miffed to say the least. I also think that:
"We would however co-operate with any enquiry that emerges from this incident".
says all we need to know. If there is a standards hearing I think Barnes has shit it! This sites co-operation may well be decisive.

Guest's picture

Ding ding - all aboard...

Ding ding - all aboard...

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All aboard what Pat.

All aboard what Pat.

Guest's picture

Mike's bus..maybe he would be better sti

Mike's bus..maybe he would be better sticking to what hes good at..fares please..

Guest's picture

Gary, it sounds like you're the one foam

Gary, it sounds like you're the one foaming at the mouth.

To be honest, I don't really feel to bothered either way whether Mike Barnes resigns because he does more harm to the Labour Party than good. However, if the party had any values or commonsense, he would have gone by now as you shouldn't be able to have a leader who behaves in this way.

That he is still there and shows no intention of either going or being forced out just shows how Labour are unfit to govern the city just as they are unfit to govern the country.

But everybody can see that without needing me to go on banging the drum about it. I'm very relaxed about Mike Barnes's future whatever he does.

Guest's picture

Mind the doors please, plenty of room on

Mind the doors please, plenty of room on top. Maybe he sould have done Blakey from 'On the Bussies'. I can do him as well-:
" I hate you Buttler."

Guest's picture

Going to bed early tonight - on a promis

Going to bed early tonight - on a promise from Connie !

Yes, although I am reasonably familiar with the City's new Constitution (passed January, operative June) I will have to skim through it yet again to remind myself that our elected representatives agreed a set of rules which sets out a procedure for holding councillors to account but is woefully silent about what happens when officers bend/break/manipulate the rules.

Let's see now, who is on the 'Constitution Review Panel' ? Not that it really matters that much (one is on holiday anyway) since they will all be conned by those whose own interests are best served by following the diktat laid down by central government.

I am personally getting a bit fed up with those who 'talk the talk' but will not 'walk the walk'.

Put up or shut up.

Mick Williams
(in a personal capacity)

Guest's picture

If nothing else Pitsnpots makes me laugh

If nothing else Pitsnpots makes me laugh.
Gary Elsby "as well as being the son of god he's a journalist" stop it my belly hurts.
This is the same one that nature has dealt such a nasty blow to its impossible to insult him.
As expected he comes on to defend Barnes, after all they are two peas in a pod both of the impersonate a human being.
The fact that Barnes has broken the code of conduct does not matter one jot to their morals, as they have none whatsoever.
He like his Labour buddies (when caught out) will not resign, he will carry on as normal, what a coward.
Pitsnpots the allforgiving site does not want to press charges.
Well after all he's a favourite with Tony isn't he?
elsby, we don't want all the black people sent home, but getting rid of idiots like you would be a good start.

Guest's picture

So Mike refutes any claim that impersona

So Mike refutes any claim that impersonated the BBC but not that he tried to pass himself off as someone connected with this site!

Guest's picture

Tony, I've been telling you for

Tony,
I've been telling you for a long time now that Barnes is a loser, I take no joy from being
proved right once again.
He's another one of those that needs to be shown the door come election time, let's hope the
electorate realise it too.

Guest's picture

Nothing surprises me where Barnes is con

Nothing surprises me where Barnes is concerned. Not even his local party wants this two-timer to be in the group. They only elected him because he was probably the only one rotten enough to do the job. His reputation for not telling the truth and manipulating people and circumstances is well established.

Frankly, it beggers belief that he could sink so low as to try and gather some dirt on a former employee of the city is the pits. What would he then do with it? The idea that he has sunk so low to come up with only reflects his inability to be a leader and use whatever brain he had between his ears for any good for the benefit of the people of our city. Do us a favour, pack your bags and leave, for good.
Thank the Lord he was NOT elected to the position of Council Leader. He should be sacked immediately.

Guest's picture

[mod edit] True Stokie

[mod edit]

True Stokie

Guest's picture

Heh not surprised my comment got moderat

Heh not surprised my comment got moderated - did put allegadly in there as without Cheshire issuing a press release - little difficult to get any facts ain't it? :)

Guest's picture

no worries Tony.

no worries Tony.

Guest's picture

[...] dear. Back to normal at Stoke-on-T

[...] dear. Back to normal at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, it seems. The Labour Group Leader has been suspended. And the Chief Officer appears to have done a runner and gone AWOL. Comments [...]

Guest's picture

Don't know who got moderated there or wh

Don't know who got moderated there or why but there is no press release on Cheshire West Co Co web site I can see. But I'll ask the question again .. do we have our own (interim/acting or temporary) Chief Executive in post AKA Chris Harman and although not a Cheshire resident .. will Steve Robinson be at his desk tomorrow morning?

True Stokie

Guest's picture

Now Gary, you know what the doctors told

Now Gary, you know what the doctors told you the last time, just keep poping them...lol. Only jokeing mate, comeing around to your thinking on this one.

Guest's picture

This topic is so interesting and excitin

This topic is so interesting and exciting. Simply because it's got people's passions up and the blood moving (Oh er Misses!).

Just hope everyone will refrain from the 'I'm hard and I'll get you with a baseball Bat in the playground for that' type response?

Preaching over.

Guest's picture

We have to be very careful with this one

We have to be very careful with this one as it MAY be subject to an ongoing investigation. Until we know more details best to keep clear for legal reasons. :)

Guest's picture

Shock ! Horror ! Probe ! It is well o

Shock ! Horror ! Probe !

It is well over a week ago that I casually mentioned to Tony (W) that an UNCONFIRMED RUMOUR about the previous Council Manager was doing the rounds, the details of which were elaborated to me by a councillor (no, not Labour) in a certain Stoke pub last Wednesday night. (This is the pub where the Lord Mayor's chauffeurs used to have a pint and was always a happy hunting ground for gossip and scandal - and no, I am NOT telling you which pub or you'd be as wise as me.)

Personally I found the story an amusing change from lazy journalists pretending to be councillors so as to get a 'scoop' - but I am well aware that there is enough political dynamite available to blow the whole Civic Centre out of the water if only there was a decent investigative newshawk operating locally.

Let me give you one little example.

The report to the City Council dealing with the number of councillors to be recommended had no less than eight appendices, and being the boring old (but diligent) fart that I am I tried to access them. Surprise, surprise, I could not access number eight so asked, very politely, if I could be sent a copy. At first this was flatly refused so I turned on the old Williams blarney and wheedled it out of them. So now I've got a copy, which may prove to be the only one remaining in captivity, since it not only has it not been re-installed but the reference to it has been 'airbrushed' out of the original report. We really do have some very sensitive souls at the Civic !

I also gave a clue in a recent contribution regarding St Modwen when I mentioned that this firm had been mentioned in the recent MG/Rover report as paying a bribe to Brian Parker (a Director of Techtronic - part of the automotive group) to ensure that he smoothed the path for them to acquire the Longbridge site. However, this was not picked up by the local media and subsequent stories and comments about the ending of the partnership with the City Council completely ignored it.

One thing that absolutely floors me is the sheer hypocrisy of certain comments which have been made about this matter - too many to detail individually - and I suppose I shall come in for my usual 'commie scum' bogeyman remarks from the usual suspects. Their 'yah, boo, sucks' school of criticism is too juvenile for the other precious souls who frequent this site but I urge them to persevere for the occasional nugget discovered.

Mick Williams
(in a personal capacity)

Guest's picture

SUSPENDED, he's been suspended from the

SUSPENDED, he's been suspended from the Labour party. A party spokesman said this evening -:
" The Labour party views vry sesricuslt allegations made aganst Mr. Barns. As a result of this and pending a full inquiry, an admenistrative susprension as been inposed on Mr. Barns. While under suspension, Mr. Barnes is not permitted to hold any office on behalf of the Labour party."
NEXT.

Guest's picture

Mick your right Appendix 8 the list of t

Mick your right Appendix 8 the list of the comments received is not online, will PnP publish it?

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