Guido readers may remember Andy Preston – the Mayor of Middlesbrough who at the start of October called for tighter Covid restrictions, only to complain about those tighter restrictions when imposed days later. It seems Andy’s tossing and turning didn’t end there, as he’s now been placed under investigation by his council over accusations of having porn on his work computers. When voters hear this story about Preston spreading his seed, they will assume it was related to his tree-planting policy…
Preston, clearly a consummate professional in publicly airing things best kept private, took to hammering it out in public, accusing Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald via his official Facebook page of putting in the complaint against him based on “no more than rumours and hearsay.”
Unfortunately for Teesside residents who turfed out the Labour establishment en masse last year, Guido hears from a number of well-placed sources that despite his protestations, the situation looks entirely as McDonald alleges. In the meantime, Preston has spent the week digging holes, so if his laptop disappears investigators know where to look…
Independent Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston was busy calling for stricter restrictions days before they were announced by the Health Secretary yesterday. Back on Tuesday Preston said “our infection rate is growing at an alarming rate and Covid has already caused too much damage and pain to families around our town for us to stand by” adding it was “time to act”, asking the Government for tighter restrictions. Yet upon their announcement, Preston was scathing, calling the new measures “unacceptable” and adding “as things stand we defy the government”.
Mayor Preston’s argument is that he asked for different restrictions that did not go as far as those imposed on other parts of the North East. Yet Guido can reveal a council communication that was sent from one senior house official to another council, showing that Middlesborough did ask for the same restrictions that were imposed on the “LA7” – those other parts of the North East. Oops.
Read the leaked communication below:
A woke civil servant from the Environment Agency – a DEFRA quango – has attempted to “cancel” an elected English mayor for emphasising that poverty is as much a barrier to kids’ life chances as the colour of their skin. The power of faceless bureaucrats…
In response to the George Floyd protests last month, independent Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston told constituents via a post on Facebook:
“Black Lives Matter. And All Lives Matter
“The horrific incident that took place 4,000 miles away is raising tensions here. The way George Floyd died must never happen again…
“Don’t listen to careless talk in the media about white privilege… Deprivation here appears to be colour blind.
Preston also made the fairly non-controversial point: “The biggest barrier to progression in life in Middlesbrough, and almost anywhere, is always the same: poverty”.
This obviously angered the Government’s Environment Agency, who told the mayor “the recent viewpoints expressed by [him] in relation to the BLM movement and white privilege… do not reflect our own values and position on diversity”; formally no-platforming Preston:
Speaking to Guido, Mayor Preston was outraged, pointing to his decade-long fight for refugees and immigrants, and a subsequent post a couple of days later in which he clarified his intentions:
“I completely accept the pain that people are feeling and I want to re-state that I definitely accept the facts that black people and all people of colour face discrimination.
“Being white, I am fortunate that my skin colour has never held me back in life – but I am committed to continuing to listen to those who have suffered and do suffer discrimination”
Despite this, one month later Catherine Saxon – the Environment Agency’s North East Area Director – still told him his views on white privilege “do not reflect our own value and position on diversity” and therefore they could not be seen together. Preston is clearly well-meaning, yet the civil service are trying to cancel him for not being woke enough…