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Jackie Weaver reveals all about Handforth Parish Council meeting that went viral

The woman at the centre of a foul-mouthed online rural parish council meeting has told Sky News she has "never seen anything like it".

Jackie Weaver became a viral sensation after footage of her being heckled and shouted down by Handforth parish councillors was shared online.

Ms Weaver, who has extensive knowledge of council rules and regulations in her role with the Cheshire Association of Local Councils, was forced to kick chairman Brian Tolver off the call and placed him in a virtual waiting room.

He had told her to "stop talking" and that she had "no authority here".

Two other councillors, including vice-chairman Aled Brewerton, were also removed. He had yelled at her to "read the standing orders", while another councillor was heard mumbling "f*** off" under their breath.

A clip of the 10 December meeting, which was put on Twitter on Thursday afternoon, had been viewed more than three million times by Friday.

Celebrities across the world have thrown their support behind Ms Weaver on social media - and t-shirts reading "I stand with Jackie" have been printed.

In an interview with Sky News, Ms Weaver said she had expected the meeting to be tense due to controversial issues leading up to it, but admitted: "I have never seen anything like that."

But she said she did not want an apology.

"I don't think an apology would mean a great deal to me," she said. "I think what I would like is just some kind of recognition that they did not do the right thing - that they could have done it differently."

She felt that her gender had been a contributing factor to the tensions.

"It is difficult to think that it didn't have an effect," she said.

"There were a number of occasions where they referred to me in a very derogatory way, so it's hard to say that no, sex didn't play any part of it."

And she admitted feeling proud of herself for keeping her cool: "When you are being bullied, if you can see the other person has lost it, there is a sense of 'I did okay there'."

Ms Weaver said she had had "nothing but really lovely, positive support" since the clip had gone viral, but that she was aware the story would probably be forgotten soon.

"Something else will come along I'm quite sure, so it's not all gone to my head - but ask me tomorrow!"

She said it was important to try to eradicate "bad behaviour" from local councils.

"Democracy is hugely important - and it starts with town and parish councils," she said.

Mr Tolver said Ms Weaver had just been present at the meeting as a member of the public and "had no status to speak other than when invited".

He claimed that people's "democratic rights" had been attacked, and said the meeting had been "taken over by an unqualified member of the public".

There has been much amused reaction online about the events, and some of the exchanges have been set to the Emmerdale theme tune.

Football pundit Gary Lineker joked about events and Richard Osman tweeted that he was "busily writing Jackie Weaver into the next Thursday Murder Club novel."

Actor Stephen McGann, from Call The Midwife tweeted: "I went up for the part of Jackie Weaver, but they told me I didn't have the authority."

While the Guido Fawkes blog site commented: "Trump would still be president if he had replaced Rudy Giuliani with Jackie Weaver."

A Cheshire East Council spokesperson said it was aware of "concerns" about Handforth Parish Council, but that "all matters relating to complaints" were confidential until "all processes had been followed".

Sky News

© Sky News 2021

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