DUP launch ‘Bacardi Bob’ probe

Cllr Robert Hill
Cllr Robert Hill
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The DUP has launched an investigation into the reasons why Councillor Robert Hill took an alcoholic drink into the council chamber and took a sip from it during a public meeting.

The university area representative - who has been dubbed ‘Bacardi Bob’ by his party colleagues - admitted to drinking an alco-pop during a committee meeting last week.

He said the excessive heat in the chamber accompanied with a “feed of water” had forced him to look for an alternative drink in the members’ room fridge and there was nothing other than a Bacardi Breezer.

The DUP has said it will be issuing disciplinary proceeding against the Newtownabbey branch chairman and has a “dim view” on the matter.

A spokesman told the Times the party would like the matter “resolved as quickly as possible”.

He said there was a range of disciplinary options open to the party which would be “fully considered by the disciplinary panel”.

He added: “The party will be looking to give Robert a fair chance to air his side of what exactly happened.

“It’s not fair to say what could happen.

“We treat council business like a work place and as any employer would expect, drinking in the workplace can not be tolerated.

Meanwhile, the Alliance Party’s council group leader Billy Webb has hit out at Councillor Hill for blaming his party for highlighting the issue.

He said: “Having read Councillor Robert Hill’s comments when you contacted him about his drinking an alco-pop in the Council chamber namely ‘’This is just vindictiveness on the part of the Alliance Party...’

“As Leader of the Alliance Group in the council I contacted all my colleagues to seek their confirmation that they had not, as I assumed, reported him to the press; a fact which can be verified by the Times and all other papers containing this story.

“It is becoming more and more apparent that there is a reaction of blaming Alliance on everything, and objecting, as a matter of course, to anything we propose – what a pathetic way of behaving.

“I am sorry that Councillor Hill finds himself in this position but it is of his own making, not Alliance’s.

“I trust he will now apologise for his false accusation that any Alliance councillor reported him to the press.”