Bobbi-Anne McLeod: Plymouth politicians want “full and proper apology” from chief of council for “insensitive” comments


Women Labor politicians are demanding a “full and proper apology” from Councilor Nick Kelly after his comments in an interview with ITV Westcountry.

Plymouth City Council Conservative Leader Nick Kelly responded to a question relating to the Bobbi-Anne McLeod case on Friday saying: “Everyone has a responsibility not to try to put themselves in a compromising position. “

Nineteen-year-old Bobbi-Anne disappeared on her way to visit friends in the city center. A 24-year-old man has been charged with his murder and has already appeared in court.

Read more here: Bobbi-Anne McLeod: Crowds Gather for Candlelight Vigil on Plymouth Hoe

The councilor’s comment immediately sparked an uproar on social media and among the political opposition with Cllr Tudor Evans, opposition leader at Plymouth City Council, responding: “It’s hard to conceive of anything more callous and arrogant to say at this moment, or, in fact, at any time. “

Read more here: Cody Ackland Appears in Court Charged with the Murder of Bobbi-Anne McLeod

Cllr Kelly first told PlymouthLive: “In no way did he imply that Bobbi-Anne had done anything wrong.” However, he refused to apologize.

A day after this statement, Cllr Kelly posted another online declaration saying, “I apologize again wholeheartedly that my words have distracted that attention, at a time when we should all be working together to mourn Bobbi-Anne.”

He added: “This tragedy is by no means his fault. What happened to him is only in the hands of the person who took his life.

“I am aware that an excerpt from an interview I conducted, relating to the general security concerns of the community in the city, and comments made during an informal conversation, were used to imply the opposite. It couldn’t be further from the truth.



Bobbi-Anne’s neighbor Amanda helps raise funds to support the 18-year-old’s family during this terrible time

After Cllr Kelly’s second attempt at a response, a group of 16 Labor women councilors and Labor candidates in Plymouth called her statements “victim-blaming rhetoric” which caused “real distress” in a letter to the councilor.

The letter then demanded that he retract completely from his statements to ITV, which politicians say his two public responses failed to do.

Instead, the group of politicians accused Cllr Kelly of attempting to portray herself as the victim of misrepresentation.

They wrote: “You say that an ‘excerpt’ from an interview was used against you, portraying you as the victim of an imaginary injustice.

“Don’t you see how this refusal to take these words out, for the second time, undermines any attempt you might make to assert that you are serious about understanding and addressing the issue of domestic violence? for women and girls? “

Cllr Kelly has yet to respond to the letter.

The letter – in its entirety – reads as follows:

We are writing to you as a group of women city leaders to ask for a full and proper apology for the remarks you made during an interview with ITV Westcountry where you said: “Everyone has the responsibility to try not to put yourself in a compromising situation. position”.

You can be sure that these words have caused a lot of anger, pain and upheaval here in Plymouth.

Your rhetoric accusing the victim was a response to the appalling case of a young woman simply waiting to catch her local bus at tea time – it’s never a victim’s fault if an abuser chooses to hurt her .

Yet given the opportunity to withdraw what you said via Plymouth Live, you chose not to and your statement released through Plymouth City Council on Saturday morning does not withdraw it either. Instead, you say that an “excerpt” from an interview was used against you, portraying you as the victim of some imaginary injustice.

Do you not see how this refusal to take these words out a second time undermines any attempt you may make to assert that you are serious in your understanding and in addressing the issue of violence against women and girls ?

As the leader of our city, you must be unequivocal on the issue of blaming the victims and be aware of the power of your words.

We ask you, once again, to reflect on what you said and the real distress it caused. Then, perhaps, you will understand why a full apology and retraction is necessary, stressing that the real “responsibility” of everyone is not to harm others.

This would help in some way to reassure that you are aware of the seriousness of this problem and that you will treat it, in the future, with the seriousness it deserves.

The letter was written by Councilor Sue Dann, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Plymouth City Council.

It was also signed by:

Cllr Sarah Allen

Cllr mary aspinall

Cllr Dr Pam Buchan

Cllr Margaret Corvid

Cllr Dr Charlotte Cree

Cllr Sally Cresswell

Cllr Sally Haydon

Cllr Jemima Laing

Cllr Sue McDonald

Cllr Pauline Murphy

Charlotte Holloway, Labor Plymouth candidate for Drake Ward

Daniella Marley, Labor candidate from Plymouth for Southway

Francesca Rees, Plymouth union candidate for Eggb Auckland

Zoe Reilly, Labor candidate from Plymouth for Honicknowle Ward

Tina Tuohy, Labor Plymouth candidate for Ham Ward

Dear advisor Kelly

We are writing to you as a group of women city leaders to ask for a full and proper apology for the remarks you made during an interview with ITV Westcountry where you said: “Everyone has the responsibility to try not to put yourself in a compromising situation. position”.

You can be sure that these words have caused a great deal of anger, pain and upheaval here in Plymouth.

Your rhetoric accusing the victim was a response to the appalling case of a young woman simply waiting to catch her local bus at tea time – it’s never a victim’s fault if an abuser chooses to hurt her .

Yet given the opportunity to withdraw what you said via Plymouth Live, you chose not to and your statement released through Plymouth City Council on Saturday morning does not withdraw it either. Instead, you say that an “excerpt” from an interview was used against you, portraying you as the victim of some imaginary injustice.

Do you not see how this refusal to take these words out a second time undermines any attempt you may make to assert that you are serious in your understanding and in addressing the issue of violence against women and girls ?

As the leader of our city, you must be unequivocal on the issue of blaming the victims and be aware of the power of your words.

We ask you, once again, to reflect on what you said and the real distress it caused. Then, perhaps, you will understand why a full apology and retraction is necessary, stressing that the real “responsibility” of everyone is not to harm others.

This would help in some way to reassure that you are aware of the seriousness of this problem and that you will treat it, in the future, with the seriousness it deserves.

Regards

Councilor Sue Dann

Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Plymouth City Council

Also signed by:

Cllr Sarah Allen

Cllr mary aspinall

Cllr Dr Pam Buchan

Cllr Margaret Corvid

Cllr Dr Charlotte Cree

Cllr Sally Cresswell

Cllr Sally Haydon

Cllr Jemima Laing

Cllr Sue McDonald

Cllr Pauline Murphy

Charlotte Holloway, Labor Plymouth candidate for Drake Ward

Daniella Marley, Labor candidate from Plymouth for Southway

Francesca Rees, Plymouth union candidate for Eggb Auckland

Zoe Reilly, Labor candidate from Plymouth for Honicknowle Ward

Tina Tuohy, Labor Plymouth candidate for Ham Ward

More stories from PlymouthLive:

Bobbi-Anne McLeod’s neighbor pays heartbreaking tribute

Cody Ackland arrives at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court charged with the murder of Bobbi-Anne McLeod
Timeline of events after Plymouth teenager goes missing amid murder investigation
Plymouth demands end to violence against women amid Bobbi-Anne McLeod murder investigation
Cody Ackland Appears in Court for Murder of Bobbi-Anne McLeod – Updates
Cody Ackland charged with murder of Bobbi-Anne McLeod
Cody Ackland’s band Rakuda release statement after lead guitarist charged with Bobbi-Anne McLeod murder
Hundreds of tributes paid to Leigham for a “beautiful girl”


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