Coun­cil­lor: Com­plaints over ‘ anti- im­mi­gra­tion’ retweets are ‘ witch­hunt’

Town politi­cian re- posted mes­sage by ex- EDL leader

Solihull News - - NEWS - CATHRINA HULSE cathrina. hulse@ trin­i­tymir­ror. com

A SEC­OND Soli­hull coun­cil­lor has been sus­pended by the Con­ser­va­tives af­ter re- post­ing anti- im­mi­gra­tion and an­tiMus­lim com­ments on Twit­ter.

So­lil­hull coun­cil­lor Mar­garet Bas­sett, who sits on a re­li­gious ed­u­ca­tion com­mit­tee, is at the cen­tre of the con­tro­versy af­ter al­legedly re- post­ing sev­eral posts on Twit­ter.

They in­cluded one from for­mer EDL leader Robin­son and an­other tweet crit­i­cal of child refugees com­ing into Bri­tain.

The sus­pen­sion comes as all sides of Soli­hull Coun­cil voted in sup­port of a Green Party mo­tion reaf­firm­ing their com­mit­ment to ‘ equal­ity, di­ver­sity and in­clu­sion’ and pledg­ing ‘ stand up against and speak out against any form of dis­crim­ina- tion’. It fol­lows the case of Coun­cil­lor Jeff Potts, who rep­re­sents nearby Knowle, who is cur­rently un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by West Mid­lands Po­lice af­ter al­legedly retweet­ing in­flam­ma­tory an­tiMus­lim posts.

He has been sus­pended by his own Con­ser­va­tive group.

But Coun­cil­lor Bas­sett, a Con­ser­va­tive, de­fended the retweets, say­ing she wanted “to stim­u­late de­bate”.

“Some of th­ese is­sues are so aw­ful that peo­ple ought to know that th­ese is­sues are be­ing dis­cussed,” she said.

“I do think it’s a po­lit­i­cal witch­hunt. I am not anti- Mus­lim, anti- Jewish or any­one else.”

A spokes­woman for Soli­hull Coun­cil said: “A com­plaint has been re­ceived about Coun­cil­lor Mar­garet Bas­sett and this has been passed on to the coun­cil’s Mon­i­tor­ing Of­fi­cer to be dealt with un­der the Code of Con­duct pro­ce­dure.”

Last month, there were calls for Coun­cil­lor Potts to re­sign af­ter he re- tweeted com­ments made by other in­di­vid­u­als such as: “De­port and repa­tri­ate all Mus­lims from the UK or watch ter­ror­ists kill in­no­cent peo­ple for gen­er­a­tions to come.”

He also retweeted: “You’ve clearly not ex­pe­ri­enced the Pak­istani hos­pi­tal­ity, hav­ing a daugh­ter raped by men who think she’s ‘ white trash’.”

He was sus­pended by his own Con­ser­va­tive group af­ter the con­tro­versy. The move means he can still at­tend meet­ings – but as an in­de­pen­dent.

Soli­hull coun­cil­lor Ken Hawkins also sparked con­tro­versy in the sum­mer by retweet­ing a pho­to­graph of pro­test­ers call­ing for jus­tice over the Gren­fell fire tragedy, which left at least 80 dead. The for­mer mayor then added the cap­tion: “Lets get our­selves a hangin!”

He later apol­o­gised.

I do think it’s a po­lit­i­cal witch­hunt. I am not anti- Mus­lim, anti- Jewish or any­one else.


Coun Mar­garet Bas­sett and, in­set left, Coun Jeff Potts

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