On the 9th December 2020. Cllr Ross McCristal ( Conservative Councillor for Chellaston) took to Facebook to make a lengthy post, levelling accusations against his fellow Chellaston Cllr Phil Ingall (Independent). The public reaction was not wholly supportive; many were astounded that McCristal didn’t deal with his issues professionally and privately. His animosity had been brewing for some time as he refers to events back in July 2019 and May 2020.
Some extracts ( The full post is at the end of this article)
Accusations that Ingall ‘stalked’ the Princess Royal during her visit in July 2019, and describes him as a “political chancer”
Referring to Ingall as an “alleged” Independent Cllr
Moans about being democratically removed from a military charity, – suggesting that it was a “betrayal”
Suggesting that Ingall is taking credit for the actions of others
Questions Ingalls actions as Trustee for the War Memorial village charity
Threatens to report Ingall for his “political avarice”, and his “friends” in the Labour and Lib Dem Party to senior Council Officers.
Iain Parker, a man who has spent most of his life in public service, including the Police Force, and who was the Secretary for the Derby Conservatives, a candidate for Boulton Ward in 2019, and Derby South campaigner, was appalled by what he read, and felt that he needed to take decisive action.
“ with regard to a post on Facebook by Councillor McCristal on 9th December 2020 last, I found that it was a sustained and , in my opinion, a defamatory attack on the character of his fellow Chellaston councillor Philip Ingall. I consider it to be full of inaccuracies and untruths.
Some of the words used were unworthy of a public official and appalled me .
At that time I was an officer and campaigner on Derby South for the Conservative Party. In this role I was to start work with Councillor McCristal. 2 days, later, I resigned from the Party immediately as I cannot work for, or with, anybody associated with a post of such a nature.
I will continue to campaign on Boulton Ward, where I live, as the Independent candidate for next May’s election.”
Parker also explained that his views were directed at the team in Derby South and was keen to express his support and appreciation for the work of many others within the Derby Conservative Party especially those in Chaddesden, Oakwood and Derwent.
Within a few days McCristal’s Facebook post was removed.
Ingall was the incumbent Conservative Cllr in Chellaston until 2018; the local Party decided to select McCristal for the seat instead of Ingall. Ingall stood as an Independent in 2018 against McCristal and Ingall lost by 32 votes. In 2019, Ingall stood again and won by 173 votes and became the first Independent to win a seat in Derby. The relationship has always been frosty.
It’s difficult to decode the positive purpose of McCristal’s rant. Evidently, Iain Parker who, from inside the Party could see it for what it was – a “defamatory attack” but it was also a clear indication of the character of the person making the statement and the style of tactics that he’s prepared to use. McCristal implies in a number of his comments that he doesn’t accept the democratic process and that, as a member of the British Army he should be given special treatment and be “appointed” into roles.
Regardless of the veracity of any individual comment – this post is undignified. There are private mechanisms for dealing with inter-Cllr issues as well as the Council’s Standards Committee.
McCristal clearly gave into pressure from the Party hierarchy, or his conscience got the better of him, as the post was removed. It will necessarily bring into question his judgement.
Iain Parker took a principled stance and “spoke with his feet” – perhaps McCristal should also respond in a way, becoming of a man in public service, and apologise?
Full Copy of the Facebook post:
Categories: Derby City Council