Disgraced hyper-local Party let themselves down yet again

On this Neil Wilby Media website there are hundreds of stories that concern the more complex end of the crime and disaster spectrum; serious journalism on the most sombre of topics.

Amongst all that, there are probably a dozen or so articles that feature a controversial political party that operates out of a north-east suburb of Manchester. One in particular stands out, published just over a year ago, and is a window into how the Failsworth Independent Party (FIP) and their key players operate – and shines light onto the disgrace they have repeatedly brought to Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council and its resident tax payers (read more here).

Not least by the collection of criminals, thugs, perverts, stalkers and social media trolls who form their praetorian guard – and smear and defame anyone bold enough to criticise the FIPs (read more here).

Much more recently, an article that featured their Group Leader on the Council, Cllr Brian Hobin (read more here), himself a convicted criminal and closely connected to a number of the foot soldiers referred to above, produced an extraordinary response, by way of right of reply, that spawned a further article two days later headlined ‘Investigative journalist, my arse’ (read more here).

Cllr Hobin substituted derogation and defamatory remarks for answers to courteously presented public interest questions over allegations that he had driven a motor vehicle whilst using his mobile phone. There were also ancillary, blatant and prima facie, car parking breaches that, ordinarily, wouldn’t have seen the light of day on Neil Wilby Media unless accompanied by a matter much more serious and potentially dangerous to the public.

But, in the event, it is just as well that they did. Less than two weeks later, a local whistleblower has supplied a photograph taken outside the home of Cllr Hobin’s boss, Party Chairwoman (as she describes herself), Kathleen Wilkinson, and her second husband, Cllr Mark Wilkinson. Whose joint and several arrogance and self-possession reveals itself time and again on social media.

Wilkinsons' house with van belonging to family business parked outside.

The picture, taken on Lord Lane, Failsworth, at the address listed as FIP HQ, shows a blatant disregard, indeed contempt, for the very constituents they claim to represent. Vans belonging to the husband of Kath Wilkinson’s eldest daughter, Rachel Brotherton and her own son, Tom Radcliffe, both block the pavement whilst there is empty space on the driveway.

Those same vans, liveried in the company operated by Rachel’s husband, Peter Brotherton and Tom Radcliffe (RnB Window Cleaning), are used to carry FIP stickers during the run up to local elections.

RnB employs known Tommy Robinson disciple and infamous social media troll, David Gidman. Who is also ‘right hand man’ or ‘brother’ (as he describes himself) to an unemployed, Tameside-based conspiracy theorist, Raja Miah, whose emotive but discredited core narrative consists of ‘Oldham Labour Party covered up child sexual exploitation (CSE) in return for Asian block votes at local and general elections’ has always been adopted and spread enthusiastically by the Wilkinsons, Cllr Hobin and other FIP leading leading lights. The three named have all appeared on Miah’s infamous, and frequently banned, Sunday evening Recusant Nine podcasts to which the Wilkinson family has contributed significant funding in the past.

The Wilkinsons, particularly Kath, were identified as providing ‘a haven for racists and the far-right’ in the annual ‘State of Hate’ report produced by the Government-backed charity, Hope Not Hate. Raja Miah was also referred to in the same report (read more here).

As is now customary, the Wilkinsons declined the courtesy of a right reply over their grotesque disregard for local residents, particularly the elderly and disabled, whom they claim to champion in their election materials.

One local resident, who lives on Lord Lane, did, however get in touch with Neil Wilby Media. S/he wishes to remain anonymous for fear of what she says will be ‘reprisals’.

“When the idea of FIP first came about I was in favour and voted for them now I wish they’d never started. They do nothing for Failsworth that I can see except try to make themselves look big and clever”.

Another says: “How embarrassing for Failsworth especially after Brian Hobin was caught doing same thing then tried to bluster his way out of it. They think rules don’t apply to them because they are councillors”.

A third added: “No surprise to me they think they own Failsworth”.

Page last updated Tuesday 21st November, 2022 at 1415hrs

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Corrections: Please let me know if there is a mistake in this article. I will endeavour to correct it as soon as possible.

Picture credits: Saddleworth Independent

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.

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