The editor of Greenwich Council’s weekly newspaper Greenwich Time has been thrown out of the council’s Woolwich HQ following the sacking last week of the paper’s chief reporter, Peter Cordwell.
Hilary Bryan and assistant editor Rod Kitson were turfed out of the Woolwich Centre today after they refused to attend a meeting with council director of culture, media and sport Katrina Delaney and communications head Stuart Godfrey without a representative from the Unite union, according to a post from Cordwell on Charlton Athletic fans’ site Charlton Life.
“They were accused of refusing to work and refusing to attend a meeting but it was nothing of the sort. They were there for work but not to be bullied,” he said.
Cordwell himself was given the boot last week for writing letters to the News Shopper and Mercury newspapers congratulating Lewisham Hospital campaigners on winning their legal action against the closure of the A&E at the hospital.
He also called for more action against Boris Johnson’s fire service closures, and against zero hours contracts.
All three are sensitive issues at the council, which has been accused of a lack of action over Lewisham and the fire stations, and of hypocrisy in employing people on zero hours contracts.
Greenwich Time, one of just two council newspapers left in the UK, has been central to leader Chris Roberts’s control of the council – promoting his pet projects and personalities but downplaying those who are out of favour.
But with one if its key editorial personnel sacked and two others in dispute with the council, future editions of the newspaper could be in jeopardy.
The turmoil at Greenwich Time comes as rumours sweep the council and local Labour party that Roberts is considering attempting to stay on as leader, six months after he announced he would stand down after May 2014’s election.