Coun­cil­lor branded ‘racist’ for ask­ing Scots­man to talk slower

The Daily Telegraph - - News -

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.”

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