EXCL: Local Tory chairman suspended for branding colleague a 'two faced little s**t' and a 'shameful excuse for a Christian'

Posted On: 
22nd May 2018

The chairman of a local Conservative association has been suspended by the party after sending an abusive letter to a colleague.

The Conservative chair has been suspended by the party
PA Images

In correspondence obtained by PoliticsHome, Beckenham Conservative Association Chairman Brian Cooke branded the former Mayor of Bromley, Ian Payne, a “two faced little s**t” and a “shameful excuse for a Christian human being” after a spat on Twitter.

A spokesman for the Conservatives confirmed today that the local party chair had now been suspended after this site revealed the foul-mouthed rant.

EXCL Suspended Lewisham East Labour chair: I do not believe Isis should kill Emily Thornberry

Labour chaos as Lewisham East chair suspended after conflicting announcements

Tories reinstate candidates suspended for offensive social media posts

Conservative council candidate suspended over ‘Labour delivers hepatitis’ leaflet

A Conservative spokesperson said: “Brian Cooke has been suspended and an investigation is underway.”

Mr Cooke had come under fire from fellow Conservatives after posting a series of tweets in which he attacked political opponents for running an allegedly dishonest campaign in the run up to May’s local elections.

In one tweet referring to the Liberal Democrats he said: “They need exterminating.”

Mr Cooke later deleted the tweet, saying: “I have removed it but it didn’t ever apply to people. It applied to a party. That was very clear and is very different.”

But his comments prompted a backlash from fellow Conservatives.

Local Tory MP Bob Neill tweeted in response, saying: “However strongly one feels, this is not appropriate language in politics or anywhere else.”

Conservative councillor Gareth Allatt meanwhile branded the comments “not just offensive but downright unacceptable”.

Mr Cooke faced calls to resign, but said: “Just to say I don’t have the slightest intention to resign. Nor have I had… Why should I resign for telling the truth?”

It is believed that a response from Mr Payne saying that the remarks were “unacceptable” and “disgraceful” were the trigger for the foul-mouthed tirade.

The letter, which has been redacted by PoliticsHome to remove personal information, attacks Mr Payne for his record as a Mayor, as well as threatening Mr Payne with legal action over the tweets.

“I always thought you were a two faced little s**t. Now I know you are. And you claim to be have a strong Christian ethos. That's a complete farce”, he wrote.

“You choose, not for the first time to criticise me in public without even attempting to establish the facts. What a shameful excuse for a Christian human being you really are. You had only to ask, as at the Churchill, and if you had the facts you wouldn't have jumped in with you enormous boots.

“You also claim to be a Conservative. What utter b****cks. Siding with the LiarDems in this way is plenty of proof you were never a true Tory. But knowing what an awful Mayor you were should have told us that. The fact that you are a big bully pails into insignificance.

He added: “Within 12 hours I expect a full apology for the remarks and lies you've put on Twitter both by e mail and on Twitter. That will moderate the action I may take which will otherwise certainly include action for deformation (sic), reporting to the Standards Authorities as you were still a Cllr when you made them and finally informing the SA of what a two faced liar you are and explaining why they should consider your suitability for the role you about to start.”

Mr Payne confirmed that the letter was genuine. Mr Cooke declined the opportunity to comment.