A Conservative councillor heard yawning loudly and laughing as staff job losses were discussed has been asked to make a “formal and frank” apology. Danny Buck’s actions were described as “ridiculously insulting” after he made the noises during a contentious debate to disband Broadland District Council’s strategy, community and housing department.
Emails raising concerns about the behaviour of Buck, Tory for Hellesdon North West in Norfolk, were sent to the council. Mr Buck was requested to make an appointment with the authority’s monitoring officer so he could be reminded of his obligations under the code of conduct.
Buck, who is undertaking a history PhD focused on witchcraft and politics, said he did overstep the boundary and he was “extremely sorry”. He said it occurred during an intense time of personal stress for him and he had been struggling to sleep. Buck, 24, said: “I’ve tried to carry on with council work as best as I can. It was a real yawn. It was coincidental.
“ I have been finding it hard to sleep recently - it was unfortunate timing. I have a lot of respect for staff at Broadland District Council who do a wonderful job under intense pressure.” Buck confirmed he has been offered the opportunity to make a formal and frank apology at the next council meeting. He added: “My slip on this occasion was not something intended or one I intend to repeat.” Buck added that the laughter was meant to be sarcastic.