A LIVERPOOL council cross-party budget deal collapsed amid recriminations and allegations about leaks in a series of sensational emails.
The budget working group, as it was known, was due to meet this morning to ratify the final list of council cuts as it seeks to save £32m from next year's budget.
But on Saturday Labour Mayor Joe Anderson and Liberal Democrat leader Richard Kemp fell out in spectacular fashion over details of the cuts being leaked to the Post's sister paper the Liverpool ECHO and organisations affected. The email row about leaks was then leaked.
Mayor Anderson railed against Cllr Kemp for apparently blaming Labour councillors for the leak.
The Labour leader accused the senior Lib Dem of breaking the terms of the cross-party agreement saying he had always known he was a “despicable character… since the first time I set eyes on you”.
“You forget in trying to kid me that you are trying to kid the kid that kidded Billy the Kid, in other words I see you for what you are, someone never to be trusted.”
He accused Cllr Kemp of delivering political leaflets which included details of information deemed confidential as agreed as principles by everyone involved in the Budget Working Group (BWG).
He added: “There is a description often said to describe someone like you, it goes like this, “he could crawl under a snake’s belly with a top hat on” absolutely perfect and leaves me no room to add any more. Other than to say there is now no need for BWG on Monday.”
Within two hours Cllr Kemp had responded with his own riposte.
He said: “I have no need to shift the blame for leaks to the Labour Group because that is where they originate.”