A Conservative councillor has hit back following a ‘silent protest’ by his Labour rivals at Lichfield District Council.
The opposition group refused to speak at a meeting of the full council, leading to the session ending after just 20 minutes.
The Labour leadership said the protest had been used to highlight the inactivity of many members of the ruling Conservative group.
But Cllr Doug Pullen, Cabinet member for community said: “It’s sad to see the Labour group offering no opposition – Jeremy Corbyn is clearly having an influence.”
His comments drew criticism from Cllr Sue Woodward, the Labour group leader at Lichfield District Council, who said Cllr Pullen had missed the opportunity to fight the corner of his constituency.
“So says the Hammerwich councillor who failed to raise residents concerns on development on the green belt proposed for his ward,” she said.
But Cllr Pullen denied any suggestions he had been silent on the issue.
“Burntwood Action Group, Hammerwich Action Group and anyone at Cabinet will testify to how vocal I have been,” he said.
The Labour group’s whip, Cllr Diane Evans said the protest had been necessary to highlight the need for improved questioning of decisions by all members of the council.
She said: “The Conservative group have even blocked moves to improve the scrutiny system at Lichfield District Council, which Labour has had to press for following a poor review.
“Now we have the call-in of the green waste charge which we feel is a cynical move to try to deflect criticism. They didn’t listen to Labour members when we were raising objections at the two scrutiny meetings but I hope they’ll start listening to us now.”