Login Register

Chester Tories attack 'Labour's red baubles' this Christmas

Conservative opposition believes Labour administration has politicised Christmas

Tinsel tongued-devils always pipe up whenever there are changes to Chester’s Christmas lights but this year Tory group leader councillor Mike Jones has added a political dimension to the Yuletide debate.

Cllr Jones, who lost control of Cheshire West and Chester Council in May, appears to believe the Labour administration deliberately combined red baubles with the city’s traditional white lights - at a cost of £4,300 - as a political gesture.

Ian Cooper Former CWaC leader Mike Jones exits his role as Labour claims Chester. Photo by Ian Cooper
Former CWaC leader Mike Jones exits his role as Labour claims Chester. Photo by Ian Cooper

An avid tweeter, Cllr Jones commented after a well known city blogger Tony Chester posted a picture of a sad piece of tinsel attached to a lamppost with the caption ‘Tinsel budget cuts impact on festive decorations’.

In full bah humbug mode, the Tattenhall member responded on Twitter that the ‘only instruction’ was ‘to have RED baubles’.

His remarks initially appeared as a panto-style joke about the use of Labour’s traditional colours.

Red baubles have been added to Chester's white Christmas lights sparking a political controversy.

But in later exchanges on the subject he sounded deadly serious when he referenced Labour’s miniscule one seat majority. “You wouldn’t think it was 1 with the level or arrogance they have displayed so far,” he wrote.

Tory councillor Jill Houlbrook asked: “I assume this is some kind of horrible joke?” to which Cllr Jones responded: “Not from what I have been told.”

His comments sparked a tirade of witticisms from his political opponents.

Former Labour councillor turned stand-up comedian Ben Powell quipped: “I’ve heard they’ve put red lights on traffic lights around the city!” He later posted: “Apparently the Father Christmas will be instructed to have a BEARD as a tribute to Jeremy Corbyn and Karl Marx.”

CWaC’s Labour chairman Cllr Bob Rudd joined in by tweeting a festive photo of red baubles and asked Cllr Jones and Labour council leader Cllr Samantha Dixon: “Are these red enough for you?”

Fellow Labourite Cllr Richard Beacham won’t be on Cllr Jones’ Christmas card list after he posted: “Hey Sam, why don’t we put a red nose on a reindeer too?” He later added: “I’ve heard Cllr Jones has been seeing red since May.”

The Chronicle is awaiting a comment on behalf of the Labour administration, which has now arrived.

The festive fun proper begins on Thursday November 19 when the public can see the annual Christmas lights switch-on and join in with the family-friendly Christmas parade through the city centre themed around the ‘12 Days of Christmas’ leaving from the Town Hall, Northgate Street, at 7pm.

What do you think about the baubles? Let us know in the comments below



David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
Contact Us
Full contact details