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During a meeting of the Handforth parish council on December the 10th seen here, the chairman of the council was removed from a Zoom meeting by the Zoom meeting host. The recording of this meeting has gone viral in the UK.

This event happened prior to the meeting officially starting, where conversation took place regarding the capacity and title of the meeting co-ordinator, Jackie Weaver. Jackie Weaver said:

I am here offering support to Handforth parish council in the conduct of this meeting this evening

It was not clear that her capacity was as clerk or proper officer of the meeting.


Several minutes on, disruption insued and Jackie Weaver removed the the chairman of council from the meeting. Yet seconds before this happened, the chair stated:

It is only the chair who can remove people from a meeting.

Mrs. Weaver argues she acted so because the Chairman was disrupting the meeting and questioning her authority, others at the meeting objected to this. Furthermore, Mrs. Weaver proposed electing a new chairman after ejecting the official chairman. However, this was opposed by others stating the position automatically fell the Vice chairman.

My question is, did Jackie Weaver have the legal authority to remove the chairman of the meeting? If she didn't, does it even matter as the meeting officially hadn't even started yet?

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    David Allen Green (prominent UK constitutional lawyer) pretty much answered this two days ago in a blog post entitled "Did Jackie Weaver have the authority?. I'm not sure that us non-lawyers can add much to that. Feb 7 at 21:12
  • @SteveMelnikoff the linked blog seems to be a fairly excellent answer to the question at hand. And manages to avoid any of the usual de jure or de facto terminology one excepts from rules based exchanges. I'd happily up vote a summation with a couple of nice quotes as an answer.
    – Jontia
    Feb 8 at 15:03

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