Councillor branded ‘racist’ for asking Scotsman to talk slower
A COUNCILLOR has been accused of racism after he told his Scottish opponent “I can’t understand a word you’re saying” during a meeting.
Barry Kemp was told he was “xenophobic” after he was challenged by Glaswegian Alex Paterson following a discussion about a scheme to introduce voter IDS in future elections at Medway Council in Kent.
Mr Paterson, a Labour councillor, who moved from Scotland 18 years ago, was interrupted during the meeting by Conservative Mr Kemp who asked him to “speak more slowly”, as he claimed he struggled to comprehend his words.
Mr Kemp told Mr Paterson: “I can’t understand a word you’re saying.”
Mr Paterson responded by shouting “ignoramus” at Mr Kemp before being calmed down by colleagues on the Conservative-run council.
When the council meeting was over, Mr Paterson confronted Mr Kemp and told him he should make an official apology.
He said: “If there’s no apology from him for blatantly xenophobic and arguably racist remarks, then there will certainly be no apology from me responding to it”.
Mr Kemp denied he was xenophobic, adding: “I asked him to speak slowly and he took exception to that.”