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Slapping New Forest councillor Penny Jackman at centre of new row
AN outspoken councillor who sparked a furore by slapping an elderly political opponent is in hot water once again.
Penny Jackman is at the centre of a new storm after posting a letter on her Facebook page which praises her for striking Mike Beggs, 72, and says she should have hit him harder.
Last night the 47-year-old Tory was facing fresh calls to resign after displaying the message on the internet.
The letter says: “I feel I must write to you congratulating you on your actions. It’s a shame it wasn’t a harder slap.”
The letter goes on to say: “Just desserts”.
Cllr Chris Harrison, leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition group on the district council, said he was shocked that she had displayed the letter on her Facebook page.
He added: “She appears to be something of a loose cannon and needs to consider her position as a councillor.
“She has brought the role of a councillor into disrepute.
“People in local government have arguments – sometimes heated ones – but physical violence is not acceptable.”
Mr Beggs, of Broadmead, Sway, was a UKIP candidate in a recent town council by-election.
He attended the count and came face to face with Cllr Jackman, who criticised him for attacking her in election leaflets.
Mr Beggs was struck on the left cheek and said the blow broke his dental bridge.
Last night he issued a statement saying: “I am informed that Cllr Jackman has placed a copy of a letter to her on a public website.
“The anonymous letter congratulates her on slapping me and suggests she should have slapped me harder.
“That Cllr Jackman should publish the letter seems to call into question the sincerity of the apology she made to me after her attack.”
Cllr Jackman said she published the letter because it was representative of the messages of support she had received.
She added: “I stand by my apology, which was made – and meant – most sincerely and which Mike Beggs had the grace to accept at the time. I have no further comment to make.”