Sheffield’s own “party gate” scandal
Johnson’s party gate circus has made a surprise detour from Westminster to arrive in Sheffield.
Sheffield Council’s shiny new chief executive, Kate Josephs, confessed – once asked – that she had a party in the Cabinet Office when leaving her post as head of a Covid taskforce enforcing regulations – at the height of Covid during lockdown.
She had been asked days earlier whether she had attended any No 10 knees ups by a local journalist and, in denying she had, failed to admit her own drinks bash. She was finally outed by another media source.
Josephs, now on leave to spend more time with her values, is clinging on to her job waiting to see which way Terry Fox, leader of Sheffield’s Labour/Green alliance, will jump.
Of course, she has done nothing wrong in Sheffield so removing her would be difficult but the stench coming from her leaving do has left Labour’s political opponents with an open goal in calling for her departure.
Fox responded with this decisive action “Because of Kate Josephs’ senior role as Chief Executive, we need to set up a cross-party committee to consider what steps, if any, should be taken next”!
Rumours that Sue Gray has taken on the task of advising the committee are reported to be wide of the mark.
Fox went to say: "I have heard strong and emotional views from across the city. I absolutely understand the reaction after all that Sheffield has been through these last couple of years. We now need to let the committee carry out this work, and we also continue to await the outcome of the Cabinet Office’s wider report.”
So now Sheffield’s Labour leader thinks a report by a civil servant reporting to Boris Johnson should be a key factor in judging whether someone who broke the very rules she was monitoring is the right person to lead Sheffield’s workforce.
Josephs was appointed by Fox’s predecessor, Julie Dore, so he may not be as wedded to her as other might think but as Labour lambasts the Tories in Westminster calling for Johnson to resign in wake of the tsunami of sleaze and corruption, Fox needs to think carefully.
Just like Johnson, there is little for a committee to investigate. The facts are known – Josephs has confirmed them.
Fox’s move in shuffling the decision off to a cross party committee can only be seen as an attempt to share the blame – whatever the final decision.
It is a problem Sheffield could do without and questions need to be asked about what due diligence was done when Dore and her cabal appointed her – dazzled no doubt by her civil service CV.
The city needs leaders committed to working in the interests of Sheffield for the people of Sheffield – politics does not need another self-serving individual only interested in preserving their position.