SOUTHEND Council has been accused of ignoring bullying amid claims a councillor was almost killed by violence.

Independent councillor Stephen Aylen spoke out during a meeting about the White Ribbon campaign.

The national campaign is designed to help men make a stand against violence committed against woman.

Mr Aylen, who represents Belfairs, claimed the council should also stand up against violence committed against men.

He criticised the council for now supporting the campaign despite a history of covering up incidents.

He said: “I’ve suffered violence from two women. One basically nearly killed me and my concern is, we’ve got this White Ribbon day where we’re all out to stop male violence against women, but so often, with any gender, nobody believes you.

“Nobody believes it, especially for me, that a woman is attacking you and nobody believes when a man is being violent, they just think ‘no they are a nice person they wouldn’t do it’.

“Sadly, I’m going to say this, this council covers up these things.

“Don’t say anything because you will bring the council into disrepute, don’t say anything because you will upset someone, or you’ll lose friends.

“This is happening across all of Southend, so yes white ribbon day absolutely brilliant, but we’ve got to remember that it is not just men on women. It is women on women, men on men, women on men. There are all sorts of things and I know from my experience it is hushed up.”

Mr Aylen later said it would be too upsetting to elaborate on the allegations but confirmed he had made multiple complaints internally.

Following the claims of cover-ups Joanna Ruffle, executive director for transformation at the council, said: “All allegations of bullying are taken extremely seriously at the council.

“We have mechanisms in place for individual to report these on a confidential basis, and they are then investigated fully in line with the code of conduct and HR procedures.

“The council also offers appropriate support who are struggling with stress or trauma in all its forms.”