Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Ian Carr has been involved in a brawl with Hampshire County Councillor, Tony Hooke today in Andover High Street.
The duo both individually attended a ‘Shop Local’ event in the High Street arranged by the Andover Advertiser.
Tony Hooke told Andover & Villages that he and Kevin Farrer of International Furniture approached Cllr Ian Carr to ask for a meeting to discuss the state of the town centre, Hooke said, “Ian Carr became very aggressive, he was swearing at me, saying ‘F*** off you F***ing tw*t’, then he double punched me in the chest which knocked me backwards.
“I have reported the incident to the police. I think he should be removed from his position at Test Valley Borough Council because of it, he should not be in public office.
“All I wanted to do was talk to Ian Carr about the state of the High Street and the dismal parking in Andover which is not encouraging shoppers to come into the town centre.”
Andover & Villages spoke to Cllr Ian Carr, who said “I did not punch Cllr Hooke, he was in my face and I pushed him away.
“After this, I believe another Councillor stood in front of me in order to stop Cllr Hooke from attacking me, but it all happened so fast.”
Cllr Carr went on to say, “I knew Cllr Hooke would be there, this is the latest in a long four years of abuse from him, it feels like a set up.”
Andover Town Councillor Cllr Andy Fitchet was at the event and told Andover & Villages, “I heard a commotion and turned to see Cllr Ian Carr hold out his hand to stop Tony Hooke from coming any closer to him as Tony appeared to be behaving in a threatening manner.
“Ian had said something to Tony which I didn’t hear, which had made Tony angry.
“I saw Tony walk towards Ian in a threatening manner, at which point I walked over and stepped in between them. Tony went to walk after Ian, I grabbed Tony’s arm and pulled him back. He shouted at me to ‘get off’, I responded, ‘I won’t, if you want to punch anyone you can punch me, but do you really want to hit a Vicar?’
“Tony said he wasn’t going to punch him, to which I then repeated to him that ‘Whatever was said, this isn’t worth it’ and eventually he walked off.
“To clarify, I did not see Cllr Carr punch Cllr Hooke in the chest at all.”
Manager of Broadway Garage Steve McKellar was also a witness to the incident, he said, “The only aggression in the incident came from Ian Carr.
“Tony and Kevin Farrer approached Ian Carr to request a meeting about parking in the town, Carr went off the handle shouting abuse at Tony and forcibly pushed him with two hands making Tony stumble backwards. Somebody got in between Tony and Ian and ushered Tony away, he went to go back to speak to Ian again which is when Cllr Andy Fitchett grabbed Tony by the arm and said ‘Its not worth it, you’ve been called worse.
“It was a totally unprovoked attack from Ian Carr on Tony.”
Andover & Villages contacted Test Valley Borough Council and Hampshire County Council who had not responded with a comment at the time of publication.