SFT can now report Cllr Michael Peter Essl will be the next head of planning at Sunderland Council despite at the time of writing being a Board Member of Gentoo housing group.

Essl’s track record

Cllr Essl, who spent many years in London but currently lives in High Barnes famously caused a furore when he conveniently abandoned his seat in Barnes Ward to be parachuted into a safe seat of Ryhope Ward in 2018 despite living the other end of the City.  The following is just some of the highlights of Essl’s career on the Council to date:

Links to the far left

Following Cllr Essl’s parachute jump into Ryhope in 2018, he then became the Council representative for the far left extremist group TWAFA (Tyne and Wear Anti-Fascist Association) on the 16th of May 2018.   Despite their noble façade, TWAFA have claimed hundreds of thousands of pounds of North East taxpayers money whilst having links with convicted terrorists as shown in a ground breaking article exposing this link.

See more: https://www.sunderlandfortransparency.com/news/WQA-149-92176-sunderland-council-funded-group-linked-ira

See more: https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/committees/cmis5/OutsideBodies/tabid/76/ctl/ViewCMIS_OutsideBody/mid/417/id/1046/body_details_tab/0/Default.aspx


Alleged anti-semitism

Essl caused further social media outrage in 2019 by a questionable term to describe Jewish concerns of rampant anti-semitism in Labour as “jewsplaining”.  The usage of the term even appeared to catch the eye of pro-Corbyn Momentum Sunderland enough to cautiously ask “hope it’s not in conflict with the code” hinting at possible backlash following the Chakrabarti Inquiry into anti-semitism within Labour.

See more: https://www.facebook.com/496569263886522/posts/891079314435513/

Chickens out of public debate

Despite a social media bravado describing himself as @BeastOfBarnes on Twitter, Essl angered many voters in March 2019 when he dismissed a public debate on issues affected Sunderland with an unprofessional email saying “Yawn!”.  This revelation caused much uproar in that Labour was the only party that refused to attend a public debate.  This effectively meant the so called "beast" could not be bothered to defend Labour's record in front of the taxpayers on Sunderland.

Essl vs War Hero


Another gaffe involving Cllr Essl involved a heated debate between a Northern Ireland veteran in Ryhope Have Your Say Facebook Group over the Labour Party’s approach to veterans and the aforementioned TWAFA group having links to terrorism.  A Sunderland-based War Veteran James Elliott took to Facebook to express his disgrace at Cllr Essl’s links with the TWAFA group and said to Essl “we need the truth”.

An SFT spokesman said “Angering veterans, links to TWAFA and bad social media posts aside it is a blatant conflict of interest that the Board Member of Gentoo is now appointed head of planning.  Will a Gentoo Board member truly be impartial to any Gentoo development proposals as part of the Sunderland Council housing plan?”.