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WALSALL TO RETURN FIRE ON DOBSON

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The suspended Walsall Labour party is considering suing shadow environment secretary Frank Dobson, and the local Co...
The suspended Walsall Labour party is considering suing shadow environment secretary Frank Dobson, and the local Conservative leader John Bird, for libel.

The news came as council staff began a series of one-day strikes over the ruling group's staff reorganisation plans. Talks between unions and the Labour administration hit a stalemate after industrial action on Tuesday involving 2,000 employees.

Councillors offended by Mr Dobson's allegations of 'abuse, intimidation and bullying' are scouring radio and television interviews with Mr Dobson for libellous comments, and discussing their case with solicitors.

Walsall Labour party secretary Tim Oliver said no broadcasters would be sued, but recent media coverage had caused damage. 'The mud sticks,' he said.

Mr Bird could be taken to court for alleging that a holiday in India taken by Labour group leader Dave Church was paid for by the council.

The local auditor is investigating the matter.

Mr Oliver, who works for the community association which, claim some of Mr Church's opponents, paid for the holiday, was confident the allegations were unfounded.

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