'Our country is run by an idiot': Wakefield Conservative councillor Akef Akbar calls for Boris Johnson to resign
Akef Akbar, who was elected for the Tories in Wakefield last year, accused the PM of "hiding behind the police investigation" into Partygate, at a full council meeting on Wednesday.
Councillor Akbar stood alone among his Conservative colleagues however, in backing a motion put forward by Wakefield's Liberal Democrats which accused Mr Johnson of "acting unlawfully" and called on him to stand down.
All other Tory councillors present either voted against the motion or abstained.
The group's deputy leader Tony Homewood, even left the council chamber before the vote was taken, shouting at Labour councillors, "I'm not here to grandstand for you lot."
But speaking to applause from the Labour benches, Coun Akbar, who represents the Wakefield East ward, said: "I'll give the Prime Minister credit where it's due for getting us out of the pandemic and for the support that was given to businesses.
"But there's little point him hiding behind the police investigation. He should either say "Yes' I was at the party", or "No' I wasn't at the party."
"It's not one rule for him and one for another.
"Our residents died, people died in hospital and their families couldn't see them.
"Five and six year-olds couldn't have a birthday party. Why could he have a party?
"I don't care about playing political football - what's right is right.
"I'd like to put on record our country is run by an idiot."
Ossett councillor Nick Farmer also attacked the Prime Minister, saying "I can't defend the indefensible," and "We're surrounded by educated idiots."
However, Coun Farmer abstained from voting, after appearing uneasy at agreeing with the motion suggesting the PM "acted unlawfully".
Group leader Nic Stansby and four other party colleagues also abstained.
Another Tory however, Councillor Tony Hames, condemned the debate as irrelevant to local government, and accused Lib Dem group leader Councillor Tom Gordon of using the chamber to "promote his credentials as an MP."
Councillor Hames said: "I applaud the Prime Minister for clearing up the Brexit mess, implementing a world-beating vaccine rollout and providing financial support to the country to extraordinary lengths during Covid."
But Councillor Hames later left the chamber alongside Coun Homewood before the vote was recorded.
Councillor Gordon himself replied: "We represent over 300,000 people across this district who've had their lives turned upside down and made a misery while the PM's made a laughing stock of the country - of course the issue is relevant."
Labour member Steve Tulley told the meeting that he will bury his brother next Wednesday, after he recently died of pancreatic cancer.
He said he'd been able to see him just twice in recent months because of Covid restrictions on hospital visiting.
The South Elmsall and South Kirkby councillor said: "I couldn't see him. I had to wave to him through the window.
"I've had two face-conversations with that kid, who I grew up with. The last one was face-to-face about four hours before he died.
"That's my personal story and tragedy of this Covid crisis.
"I also saw my wife working 14 hour shifts at Pinderfields Hospital, calling people five or six times a day to tell people that their relatives had passed away peacefully.
"All the time she's doing this and my brother's lying in hospital, there's elements of that lot (the Conservatives) thinking it's one rule for them and one for everyone else.
"That's what galls me."
The motion was passed by a majority vote, with all Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors voting in favour.
How Conservative councillors voted
Nadeem Ahmed (Wakefield South) - abstained
Akef Akbar (Wakefield East) - for
Cynthia Binns (Wakefield Rural) - against
Gill Cruise (Horbury and South Ossett) - against
Nick Farmer (Ossett) - abstained
Simon Fishwick (Horbury and South Ossett) - abstain
Annemarie Glover (Wrenthorpe and Outwood West) - against
Tony Hames (Pontefract South) - left meeting after debate and before vote was taken
Samantha Harvey (Wakefield Rural) - abstained
Tony Homewood (Ossett) - left meeting after debate and before vote was taken
Richard Hunt (Wakefield South) - absent from the meeting
Karl Johnson (Wakefield South) - abstained
Raymond Massey (Ackworth, North Elmsall and Upton) - absent from meeting
Ian Sanders (Wakefield Rural) - against
Nic Stansby (Wrenthorpe and Outwood West) - abstain
Paul Stockhill (Crofton, Ryhill and Havercroft) - against
Angela Taylor (Ossett) - left meeting prior to debate
Local Democracy Reporting Service