May 22, 2022
Color Theresa Norton (left) clings to the footsteps of the Royal Courts of Justice. (Photo: Insolate UK)

Councilor Theresa Norton was jailed on February 2 for violating a court order barring Insulite UK campaigners from protesting on the M25 motorway.

Now, for the first time, the leader of the Scarborough Labor group has broken his silence, speaking to him. Scarborough News.

Cllr Liz Colling said Cllr Norton is a “valued” member of the group and works hard for the residents of his ward.

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Cllr Theresa Norton (left) with three of the four other jailed protesters. (Photo: Insolate UK)

“She is passionate about climate change and is ready to take action on her own, and she is well aware of the consequences of doing so.

“Until Theresa is available, the Labor Group will not comment on the matter,” said Cllr Cooling.

At the time of writing, Scarborough’s Labor Party has not withdrawn its whip, which would effectively expel Keller Norton from the party. But she will retain her ward seat.

Keller Norton, representing Eastfield Ward, was arrested four times in eight days last September after joining a protest on a motorway.

National Highways and Transport for London received a number of High Court restraining orders last year after the group’s blockade severely disrupted it.

Cllr Norton, 63, of Esplanade Gardens, and four other workers were charged with contempt of court and sent to prison between 24 and 42 days. His sentence does not exceed the 12-week limit for disqualifying him as a councilor.

In a statement, Scarborough Council said it had a “duty” to look into all complaints received about councilors in accordance with its policy.

A spokesman for the authority said: “In the event that we receive such a complaint about Cllr Norton, we will follow our formal policy to deal with complaints of standards.”

Conservative councilors have criticized council leader Col. Steve Siddons for not publicly addressing the jail, despite pursuing a policy of “openness and transparency.”

Conservative group leader Keller Derek Bastiman said: “I’m sure they’re trying to sweep it under the rug and hope everything is forgotten.”

Deputy Leader Keller Heather Phillips added: “It is very hypocritical for him to remain silent while his councilor is in prison.”

Cllr Norton was charged in May last year with deliberately obstructing a highway with a non-motor vehicle after blocking traffic on St. Nicholas Street in Scarborough Town Center.

The councilor was elected to the Scarborough Borough Council in 2019 and sits on planning and standards committees.

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