‘Investigative journalist, my arse’ says disgraced councillor.

Hobin on his feet plus Wilkinson at Extraordinary Meeting

Two days ago, a perennially disgraced Oldham councillor, Brian Hobin, was approached by the author of this article, Neil Wilby, to offer right of reply to a piece published here on Neil Wilby Media on the same day.

The subject matter concerned a prima facie parking violation that was of no real consequence, apart from setting a poor example to those he purports to represent, and an allegation of far greater seriousness, namely driving whilst using a mobile telephone.

The full article can be read here.

The email, couched in neutral, concise terms asked nine simple, public interest questions that would throw light on the matters in issue, supported by photographic evidence, and presented the opportunity for him to rebut the mobile phone allegation and clarify whether he was on council business, or if there were other mitigating factors when parking adjacent to not just one set of double yellow lines, but two.

The response to that email was a sneering, defamatory, almost fact-free diatribe, very much in line with his routinely disgraceful outbursts in the council chamber. Presumably, intended to deflect from the core issues in the press request. He asserts that the recent article is ‘full of mistruths’, but, in typical style, fails to specify a single one.

He did not answer any of the questions put to him. Most of which required a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. The reader is invited to draw inference from that. Not least as one of his most frequent, and bitter, complaints of others, notably members of the ruling Labour administration in Oldham is of that very ilk.

As a result, Cllr Hobin has been made the subject of a Standards complaint to Paul Entwistle, the Monitoring Officer at Oldham Council, whom, in fact, was copied in to the email sent by him to Neil Wilby, accompanied by the remark, ‘Quite what the Borough Solicitor [also the Monitoring Officer] or any other council officer wants to do with your request is up to them’.

Jeni Harvey, the Head of Communications at Oldham Council was also copied in to Cllr Hobin’s email.

He signed off his email by quoting a television character, Jim Royle (of whom Neil Wilby had never previously heard): ‘Investigative journalist my arse’.

An opinion to which he is fully entitled, of course. But it runs counter to the public praise heaped on Neil Wilby, by the same Cllr Hobin, during a council meeting in June. That was over the former’s long-term work with a well known child sexual exploitation (CSE) survivor in Oldham, known by the cypher, ‘Sophie’.

To make other remarks that are, on any independent view, defamatory is, however, not an entitlement either he or any of the criminals, thugs, perverts, stalkers and trolls that form the core of his Party’s support in Failsworth have. As noted in this recent article headlined ‘Journalism is not a popularity contest‘ elsewhere on Neil Wilby Media (read here).

A report has also been made to his employer, Stagecoach, because, as a driver employed by them, the bus company become stakeholders in the matter. As do the Traffic Commissioners in Greater Manchester.

Cllr Hobin can have no complaints, whatsoever, that the matter has been escalated; Having spurned the opportunity to resolve the issues locally and with a degree of decorum and professionalism that council tax payers in Oldham could reasonably expect.

Sending defamatory emails, using Oldham Council servers, appears to be a ‘thing’ with the Failsworth Independent Party. Last year, Cllr Mark Wilkinson, was reported for circulating a shocking, spiteful, vengeful missive concerning Sean Fielding, the former Leader of the Council and over whom Cllr Wilkinson and his wife and Party Chair, Kathleen Wilkinson, remain unhealthily obsessed (read more here).

The latter recently received an Anti Social Behaviour Injunction (ASBI) warning letter from Oldham Council over her behaviour in the council chamber. Sat behind her husband and Cllr Hobin, she shouted at a former Labour councillor, Pete Davis, “Sit down you fat bastard“.

Cllr Hobin has since attempted to publicly justify and normalise that class of behaviour, and that of other FIP members, or supporters, that received ASBIs. Including two notorious criminals, serial burglar Garry Dunkerley and riot-starting football thug, Stephen Walsh.

Her, and Cllrs Hobin and Wilkinson, are well known acolytes of a disgraced Tameside conspiracy theorist, Raja Miah. A persistent, mendacious, money-grubbing liar whose menacing, dangerous, unwelcome presence has blighted the Borough for over three years. Miah was also issued with an ASBI warning letter, a matter upon which he has been unusually reticent.

It can be well argued, in all the circumstances, that the FIPs and Miah are highly suited to one another. Even though, during a temporary blip in their alliance earlier this year, Miah did describe the FIPs, very publicly, as “thick as pigshit“.

Brian Hobin was the main target of that jibe published on the controversial Recusant Nine social media platforms. Kath Wilkinson, in a comment posted contemporaneously on Facebook, addressing that same subject, did appear to agree with the alleged lack of intelligence and perception.

The Failsworth Independent Party has no published complaints procedure or ethical and professional code by which their members or councillors should abide.

Page last updated Tuesday 8th November, 2022 at 1825hrs

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Picture credits: Oldham Council

Right of reply: If you are mentioned in this article and disagree with it, please let me have your comments. Provided your response is not defamatory it will be added to the article.

© Neil Wilby 2015-2022. Unauthorised use, or reproduction, of the material contained in this article, without permission from the author, is strictly prohibited. Extracts from, and links to, the article (or blog) may be used, provided that credit is given to Neil Wilby Media, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Published by Neil Wilby

Former Johnston Press area managing director. Justice campaigner. Freelance investigative journalist.

2 thoughts on “‘Investigative journalist, my arse’ says disgraced councillor.

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