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POLICE PROBE WOLVO “RIOT” THREAT

04-02-2010

Cllr Sandra Samuels

Police in Wolverhampton are investigating a councillor’s threat that funding cuts to the city’s African-Caribbean Resource Centre would lead to riots. Sandra Samuels is also being reported to the local government standards board.

She made her comments at a volatile council meeting which rubber stamped plans to axe an annual £64,000 grant to the Centre in Whitmore Reans.

Samuels said the move would be opposed "locally, nationally and internationally" and warned: “If we have to take to the streets of Wolverhampton and cause a riot, that’s what we’ll do”.

Her comments were condemned by Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Mike Heap, who called for her to be removed as a councillor and expelled by Labour.

He said: “If one of the Liberal Democrats had said anything like that, they would have been sacked from the party and made to resign.

“I’ve reported it to the police as incitement. There was no equivocation about it, and there was a huge crowd, the public gallery was full. Many people felt terrified.”

Cllr Heap added: “She has set race relations in the city back years.”

Labour Leader Roger Lawrence said that he had told Cllr Samuels her comments were unacceptable, and said that she had apologised.

“She would never support any unlawful action” he said.

He explained that her outburst “arose from a heated debate”, but said that any disciplinary action would depend on other events.

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