Local elections 2018: The latest scandals and suspensions

Posted On: 
1st May 2018

Local councillors are the backbone of British democracy, working tirelessly within communities to hold local government to account. They’re also a source of scandal, social media storms and just old-fashioned offensive outbursts. Ahead of this week’s crucial local elections we compile a list of the latest suspensions to rock the regions.

Credit: 
PA

Party: Liberal Democrats 

Where: Sandhill, Sunderland Council 

Who: Lynn Appleby 

Accused of sharing a Facebook post likening immigration into the UK to “genocide” of the British people.

She also allegedly shared another post, suggesting that the parents of children who suffer in poverty should be told: “Don’t breed em if you can’t feed em.”

 

Party: Labour 

Where: Featherstone Town Council, Yorkshire 

Who: Richard Taylor

Suspended for calling Theresa May and Esther McVey ‘foul b*****s’.

Asked by PoliticsHome if he stood by his slur against the Prime Minister, he said: “He said: "Well she is isn’t she? Let’s be fair, she’s the most vile thing that has ever walked on a pair of legs.”

 

 

Party: Conservative

Where: Sowerby Bridge, Calderdale Council

Who: Mike Payne

Suspended for retweeting an article in 2013 entitled ‘France Slashes Benefits to Muslim Parasites by 83%’ on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

It’s possible no one would have noticed, but he then defended it again in April this year, saying he was concerned about the issue as some of his family are French.

 

 

Party: Labour

Where: Newsham, Blyth Town Council

Who: David Walls

Accused of anti-Semitism after sharing Facebook posts which said ‘trust the Jews, they're never skint' and describing asylum seekers as 'boat people'.

He later dismissed the claims against him as “PC nonsense gone mad”.   

 

Party: Conservative  

Where: Poynton, Cheshire East Council  

Who: Howard Murray

Suspended while he was investigating two other suspended councillors.

The local authority said he stepped down over “concerns about his actions” in his role as chair of the Investigation and Disciplinary Committee.

 

Party: Conservative

Where: Carterton North West, West Oxfordshire District Council

Who: Peter Handley

Suspended for calling a colleague with osteoporosis a “cripple” after a council meeting.

He defended himself saying: “The word wasn’t meant in the sense of today.”

 

Party: Labour

Where: Whitewell, Rossendale

Who: Pam Bromley

Accused of sharing anti-Semitic material on her Facebook page.

She later posted on Facebook: “This whole anti-Semitism witch-hunt is nothing more than: A - an attempt to censor and stifle debate about the atrocities being committed in Palestine, and B - de-stabilise Corbyn and the Labour Party, and in this particular instance, my credibility as an elected councillor of course.”

 

Not to be outdone, the candidates are at it as well…

 

Party: Conservative 

Where: Cradley and Wallescote, Dudley Council

Who: Kamran Razzaq

Suspended for distributing an election leaflet that accused the local Labour party of spreading hepatitis – yes, really.

The Tory staffer, Christian Calgie, who reluctantly outed Mr Razzaq on social media, said: “The reason I share it is that often in politics, embarrassment is one surefire way to get a party to act.”

 

 

Party: Conservative 

Where: Tudor, Watford Council

Who: Darren Harrison

Suspended over alleged links to far-right groups.

At one rally he is said to have attended, leader of the English Defence League Tommy Robinson, told an audience in London’s Hyde park: “People of the UK, you are being replaced… by massive Muslim immigration.”