LABOUR has administratively suspended the chairman of Penketh Parish Council following a foul-mouthed outburst during a meeting, the Warrington Guardian understands.

Cllr David Simm faced calls to resign after telling a fellow parish councillor to ‘wipe that f****** smirk off your face you f****** piece of s*** earlier this month.

It came amid growing tensions and disagreements between Labour and independent parish councillors.

It is understood that Cllr Simm is administratively suspended from the Labour Party, pending investigation.

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints extremely seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures, and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken.”

Cllr Simm has not responded to a request for a comment.

Earlier this month, matters escalated during Part 2 of the parish council’s meeting – which was not open to the public.

The meeting was held remotely over Zoom.

Cllr Simm asked members if they were in agreement over starting a tendering process.

Seconds later, he said: “Wipe that f****** smirk off your face, you f****** piece of s***.”

It sparked shock among parish councillors.

Cllr Geoff Fellows, independent, said the chairman ‘verbally abused’ another councillor and called for him to resign.

Independent Cllr Craig Lenihan – who said Cllr Simm was speaking him when he made the foul-mouthed outburst – also asked for his resignation.

Cllr Simm, who issued a statement on the matter, said his language was unacceptable and that he thought his microphone was on mute.

But he said he ‘broke’ as a result of the ongoing tensions between members over a number of months and apologises wholeheartedly.

He also stated he was felt he was being goaded during the meeting.

He added: “I deeply regret my language on the Zoom meeting on Wednesday night and within minutes I apologised profusely to my colleagues.”

Warrington Borough Council’s chief executive Steven Broomhead virtually addressed members ahead of the meeting earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Matthew Cumberbatch, the borough council’s director of law and governance, observed the meeting.

Mr Broomhead said a number of concerns, anxieties and frustrations relating to the parish council have been communicated to him and Mr Cumberbatch over recent months.

He said these seem to centre around working relationships, process, culture and governance.