A FIERY council meeting was adjourned after sparks flew during a fierce row over bullying.

The meeting of Maldon District Council was scheduled to discuss the authority’s new committee structure, which was passed by a narrow margin of 15 votes to 14.

During the meeting, Independent councillor Chrisy Morris claimed he was being denied his right to free speech.

Robert Boyce, chairman of the council, said: “In this chamber, Councillor Morris, you only have the right to speak under our constitution.

“You’re not asking any more questions on this issue.”

Councillor Mark Heard, leader of the opposition Independent group, said: “I’d like to call for restraint on all areas of this.

“Here we are again playing politics; I don’t think this is the right way for this council to go on.

“The only reason that it has been in this vein is because of the constant exclusion of the Independent group.

“I’m very sad to see this happen - what we are doing here is wasting time trying to score points when all we want to do is to be heard.”

Mr Boyce responded: “I don’t think that I’m playing politics, I’m just trying to work the council in a legal and constructive way.”

Mr Morris then made multiple accusations regarding bullying at the council.

Conservative Adrian Fluker, leader of the council said: “Due to some disruption in the council chamber at the meeting of council on October 3, the chairman councillor Boyce adjourned the meeting at 8.19pm.

“It was disappointing that not all of the business of the meeting took place however the remaining items of business will stand deferred to a future meeting.”

He added: “Any complaints of bullying will be investigated in the normal manner.”