NEWPORT, United Kingdom – The Conservative Mayor of Newport was barred from greeting dignitaries at the NATO summit in a politically motivated snub today. Despite tradition dictating that the Mayor always meets foreign leaders Cllr Matthew Evans was not invited, replaced by the Labour Leader of the Council.
The Mayor is often referred to as the “first citizen” and in the same way the Queen represents the country at official state occasions he would be expected to represent his borough. The Leader of the Council is a political position like the Prime Minister and is only normally called upon to meet high profile dignitaries when the Mayor, Deputy and immediate past Mayor are all unavailable.
This did not stop Labour politician Cllr Bob Bright from pushing Evans out of the way, in the face of widespread criticism from local residents in the borough. Bright claimed all the invitations were issued by the Prime Ministers’ office, but Breitbart London understands 10 Downing Street had asked the council in advance who they wanted to be put on the list.
When Evans took to his official Mayoral twitter to complain it was taken down, leading the Mayor to claim that Labour had tried to “stifle debate” on the issue.
Cllr Evans was publicly backed by Cllr Jesse Grey, former Mayor of the Royal Borough of Windsor, home of the Queen. Grey told Breitbart London: “This is extraordinary and a huge breach of protocol. There is no question that the Mayor should be invited to meet foreign leaders when they come to his or her borough.
“During my term of office myself and the Queen welcomed the President of India to Windsor. I also went to the state banquet on behalf of the Royal Borough. It’s such a shame when the left play politics with things like this. They have made themselves look childish, and embarrassed their town.”
Matthew Evans said: “I can confirm that I will not have a role in welcoming delegates to the host city, or to any of the schools they might visit. I heard that this morning – I was told the mayor would not have any involvement in events going on.”
The council maintained they had done nothing wrong.