There’s concern for the well-being, and whereabouts, of Sutton LibDem councillor Callum Morton.
Morton has been AWOL for months. He hasn’t been seen at a meeting of Sutton’s full council since September.
But he has meanwhile managed to find the time to train to make his debut as … a cage fighter.
Inside Croydon today tracked down Morton to his workplace, 120 miles away in Bath in the West Country. Morton is the office manager for Wera Hobhouse, the Liberal Democrat MP who won the seat at the General Election in June.
Morton said that he was unable immediately to answer our questions about his cage fighting debut, or when he might next turn up to fulfil his duties at Sutton Council, nor whether he intends to seek re-election in The Wrythe ward at the local elections next year. Morton, clearly with the interests of the tax-payers who pay his wages at heart, said, “Because I am at work at the moment, and if there are any questions about that, I’d have to respond later by email.”Morton made his Mixed Martial Arts debut at Bath Pavilion on December 2, at a charity fund-raiser where the rules were, well… pretty much there were no rules.
“Punches, kicks and knees to the body and legs are allowed”, the organisers’ website states, as well as, “Punches to the head while standing are allowed” and “Slams are allowed”.
LibDem Morton appears to have invented another rule of his own: hitting the Council Tax-payers of Sutton below the belt by trousering £10,500 per year in council allowances while rarely turning up to fulfil his duties.
It is likely that Morton continues to hand over generous amounts of that public money to election funds of his local party, possibly including Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake.
Morton nabbed the job of office manager for Hobhouse soon after she was elected MP. Since then, the south London residents of The Wrythe ward have seen little of their councillor, who has a miserable 54 per cent attendance record at Sutton Council committees and meetings.
Since July 2015, Morton has only turned up for three meetings of the scrutiny committee on which he is supposed to serve.
The cage fighting event was all staged for charity: Cancer Research. Various members of the public volunteer to spend two months training to get fit and learn the “skills” of Mixed Martial Arts, hoping their friends and colleagues will stump up some sponsorship cash for the worthy cause before they jump into the ring against one of their training partners.
People, apparently, pay good money to watch blokes kick the shit out of one another. Perhaps having a LibDem councillor in the cage is an added attraction. “VIP tables” are sold by the organisers for £300 a time, standing room-only tickets cost 20 quid.
According to the organisers’ website this morning, the Bath cage fighting night managed to raise £4,380 between the novice fighters.
Morton’s contribution to the charity pot, though, was hardly a knock-out, at a mere £302. And not a penny has been donated from his erstwhile colleagues among Sutton’s LibDem councillors.
They might soon get another chance, though. There’s a similar event coming up, organised by the same promoters, but much closer to Morton’s ward in Sutton next May, at the Westcroft Leisure Centre in Carshalton.
But so far, Sutton councillor Morton has not signed up to take part.
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