A PARISH council meeting held over Zoom has become an overnight internet sensation after footage of councillors trading insults during the online forum surfaced online.
The name of one of the participants, Jackie Weaver, even began trending on Twitter in Ireland after a video from a meeting of the Handforth Parish Council was posted on the social media platform.
In the video recorded during a planning and environment committee meeting which took place at 7:30pm on December 10, 2020, Chairman Brian Tolver can be seen angrily questioning its legitimacy.
It subsequently emerges that Tolver had been ejected from an earlier 7pm meeting on the same tipic after also questioning its legitimacy.
This second meeting begins on a bizarre note, however, when an unseen councillor can be heard saying “f*** off” as Tolver speaks.
Tolver’s main gripe appeared to be with meeting clerk Jackie Weaver, from the Cheshire Association of Local Councils, who he tells to “stop talking” because she has “no authority here”.
Unperturbed, Weaver proceeds to remove Tolver from the call.
She then attempts to take control of the situation, telling those in attendance: “This is a meeting called by two councillors, we may now elect a chair.”
Unfortunately, her attempts at restoring order are soon derailed by vice-chair Aled Brewerton who, while sat alongside an older man, angrily claims the meeting as been called “illegally”.
He goes on to argue a chair should not be elected because he is present. “I take charge,” he tells Weaver before yelling at her” “Read the standing orders, read them and understand them."
At that point fellow councillor Susan Moore called for civility, prompting semi-hysterical laughter from some of those in attendance.
As a result, both Brewerton and another attendee, Barry Burkill, ended up being removed before the meeting was allowed to continue.
It appeared as though there was some confusion over Tolver’s decision to name himself as “clerk” on the Zoom call.
Councillor John Smith said: "He's not the clerk of the parish council, whether he declares himself the clerk or not."
Weaver concurred: "The chairman simply declared himself 'clerk' and notified everybody of the case.
"There is no way of stopping him from calling himself clerk. Please refer to me as Britney Spears from now on."
The footage has proven a hit on Twitter, where it has already been viewed over 200,000 times with one fan branding it “British comedy gold”.
“I can't wait to shout "read them and understand them!" at every meeting I attend from now on,” another joked.