Hitler row Labour councillor readmitted to party after probe finds 'credible evidence' he was hacked

Posted On: 
22nd October 2019

A Labour councillor has had his suspension from the party lifted after a probe found "credible evidence" that a controversial social media post was the result of a hack.

Councillor Murray has been readmitted to the Denbighshire Labour group.

Denbighshire councillor Bob Murray was disciplined earlier this year over a Facebook comment which said Adolf Hitler had "the right idea" about travellers.

The post drew condemnation from the Board of Deputies of British Jews, which said Mr Murray was "not fit for public office", while the Holocaust Educational Trust hit out at the "vile and offensive remarks, directed at a minority group".

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But an investigation by the party found that there was "credible evidence" another person had access to the councillor's Facebook account and that he did not post the material himself.

Nick Bennett, Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, also looked into the post, while North Wales Police made its own inquiries.

In a statement, the watchdog said North Wales Police had "found no evidence that the posts in question were made from the Member's account" or that he had personally expressed the "inappropriate and offensive" comments.

And the Ombudsman added: "My office found that there was no evidence to support the concerns raised nor evidence that the Member had breached of the Code of Conduct."

Councillor Murray - who has been readmitted to the council's Labour group - said he was "pleased" the suspension had been lifted.

"It has been a very difficult few months that has put a huge strain on me but I would like to thank my fellow councillors, friends and residents for their support," he said.

And Chris Ruane, Labour MP for Vale of Clwyd, said: "We all share the horror at the comments that were maliciously placed under Bob’s name. They are not representative of our party and have no place in our society.

"I know that the last few months will have been difficult for Bob. I’m glad that following a full investigation by the Labour Party and the Ombudsman, Bob re-joins the Labour Group. He is a hard working local councillor and I look forward to campaigning alongside him again."