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Brenton: 'I was not the bully, I was the victim'

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: September 06, 2012

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A BIDEFORD Town Councillor accused of bullying says she felt she was the victim not the bully.

The Journal revealed the findings of an independent investigation last week which stated Councillor Anne Brenton bullied former town clerk George McLauchlan causing him to resign from the position last year and later submit a grievance against Mrs Brenton.

But Mrs Brenton said the report findings were not accurate and she had been bullied by Mr McLauchlan.

She said: "I wrote to the town clerk complaining about his behaviour on June 9, 2011 and asked him not to approach me on my own. Is that the action of a bully? "

She said once she was cornered on the stairs by Mr McLauchlan and felt so intimidated she believed she could have fallen.

"I have never bullied anyone and I was never during this time accused of bullying by anyone on the council."

Mr McLauchlan could not be contacted for comment.

Town Councillor Trevor Johns, who was mayor at the time of the allegations said he had been in a difficult position but Mrs Brenton should have told him first if she felt she was being intimidated by the clerk. But he said as the conversation took place between two people with no witnesses, there was no-one to substantiate either story.

He said: "Mr McLauchlan was a man of exemplarily character and undertook a distinguished service to our town and I cannot imagine that he would be discourteous and thereby would not be offensive to anyone."

See Letters page 47.

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