Maybe it's a first in British politics but it would appear that, Kent Police, in issuing Cllr Mike Harrision with a notice under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, it may well have, the consequence of directly interfering with Thanet Council business.
I'm told a decision on Cllr Mike Harrison's future in the Thanet Labour Group has been passed on to the Party's chief whip for consideration also advice has been sought with TDC's legal bods, clearly since no charge has been made or accepted this is different to Cllr. Gregory's situation. Still I just wonder whether implications of the notice issued to Mike Harrison have been fully appreciated.
Labour leader Cllr. Clive Hart to his credit acted swiftly on hearing of latest developments with Mike Harrison, saying this " Immediately I learned of yesterdays events I instructed our Chief Whip to start an investigation on behalf of our group into matters leading to Cllr Mike Harrison being given an harassment warning by the Police. That investigation is underway".
I don't doubt we all expect and want a swift resolution to this messy matter, and a return to issue led politics not the personal insults, threats and provocation of recent, still it occurs to me, that we now have a situation in which Kent police have become an unwitting player, in the democratic process, not something you expect in a civilised western society.
Although there has been no police investigation, a notice has been issued to Mike Harrison under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 which prevents him contacting or communicating via third parties with Cllr. Driver, a clear impediment to democracy in my view, since Councillor Driver is Chairman of the important Scrutiny and Overview Committee, rather unfortunately Cllr Mike Harrison is the Vice Chair a fairly tricky situation if the two cannot communicate.
Imagine the potential situation which would be funny, were it not so serious, your council the Chair of Scrutiny and Overview invites comment on the Leaders commitment to equality issues, the Vice Chair communicates a desire to speak, a pause, a council officer is summoned, a discussion ensues the question on everyones lips 999 or 101, 999 the answer and so ends democracy!
In my view there are occasions where you cannot do right, for doing wrong.
Finally perhaps to prevent the embarrassment and shame of the police arresting a democratically elected councillor for speaking to a fellow councillor it might help if Mike Harrison just resigned particularly after this quote from Thisiskent website Mr Harrison said "I probably did say them things and somebody deleted it, that is why I thought I was hacked , but as far as I am concerned I have not been found guilty of anything."