Councillors who featured in Handforth council Zoom meeting say their life became "hell" after viral video
Councillors who featured in the infamous Handforth council Zoom meeting say their lives became "hell" after the video went viral. Aled Brewerton claims he received death threats in the aftermath of the Jackie Weaver row. And, two years on, he says he and dad Keith Brewerton still feel uneasy in their local pubs. The pair were both present on the December 2020 parish council call which descended into chaos. Mrs Weaver struggled to keep control of the unruly meeting - memorably being told she had no authority. Keith, 76, and Aled, 46, briefly became household names after the video was picked up in February 2021. But they say their lives have been adversely affected. Aled said: “I’ve been told that I deserve to die and burn in hell. It's that bad that even my partner has been threatened. "I didn't resign off the parish council because of any investigation; I resigned because the events made me ill and I was fed up. “It was an absolute mess. Neighbouring councils wouldn’t work with us, we were the butt of all jokes. It really was embarrassing." Handforth parish council operates in the eponymous Cheshire town, which is home to around 6,000 people. It rarely makes headline news. But after a recorded meeting went viral, the world's media became interested. In the video, Aled famously demanded that Ms Weaver should "read the standing orders – read them and understand them". She became a minor celebrity in the aftermath. However, Keith and Aled claim they have since experienced harassment from members of the public. The pair say they have received threats from the public, and are unable to even enjoy a pint without the video being mentioned. Aled said: “Basically it’s been two years of hell. "We’ve got a situation now where certain people don’t say, ‘Oh it’s Handforth Town Council’. The initials that are being used are HCC – Handforth Clown Council. “That’s not just in this area, that I have seen on YouTube nationally and Facebook nationally and that’s embarrassing for our village. “I’ve been told that my home address has been shared on the internet and social media. “And when I’ve got to go out in public it makes me feel uneasy.” Keith added: “It’s very easy to be abusive on the internet when it’s not a face-to-face meeting and you can use a different name. “I went into a local pub with one of Aled’s friends on Aled’s birthday and people came in and started chanting at us. “If we go to a pub, we go out of the village - we don’t go into local pubs because we do not wish to be involved in civil disobedience. “It took me a fair while to convince Aled he could go into the village on his own and do his shopping. “There never has been a problem but it’s the thought in the back of your mind that there could be a problem.” Keith and Aled also claim the video should not have been published in the first place due to privacy issues. The Information Commisioner's Office (ICO) said it had investigated a complaint but closed the case with no further action taken. An ICO spokesperson said: "The council stated that the recording of these meetings is standard as they are public. "As a result, we provided guidance around data protection issues including reminding them of the importance of ensuring their privacy policies are clear and advise members of the public that their data may be captured during the recording of these meetings. "They were also reminded of the lawful basis that the data is processed. The case has since been closed with no further action taken."