‘I hope you burn in hell, evil b**ch’, Rev trolls Soubry
AN ANGLICAN cleric has been suspended from his job after telling Conservative MP Anna Soubry: ‘Burn in hell you evil bitch!’
The Reverend Philip Fowles sent the hateful message about her stance on Brexit using an official email account from the Anglican retirement homes where he works.
His message also claimed that the prominent Brexit critic was a ‘traitor’ and a ‘disgrace to our great party’, suggesting he is an active Conservative supporter.
When Ms Soubry reported the email to police, Rev Fowles apologised for ‘the tone’ of his outburst, before seemingly backtracking saying that it was ‘heartfelt’ and written ‘in the heat of the moment’.
Former Minister Ms Soubry, a leading critic of calls for a ‘hard Brexit’, said last night: ‘This kind of hateful behaviour is appalling and has no place in a democracy.’
The email that was sent to Ms Soubry’s Commons office came from Rev Fowles’s email address at the St Monica Trust in Bristol, where he is a ‘pastoral coordinator’ for the old people’s homes it runs. The trust’s motto, ‘Delivering wellbeing’ was prominently displayed directly below his obscene rant.
The email said: ‘Madam, You are a traitor to the British people who have voted to leave the EU to build a better Britain outside of their sticky-fingered control. You are also a disgrace to our great party.’
Ms Soubry would ‘go down in history as a desperate and treacherous politician’ who wanted to shackle the UK in ‘European serfdom,’ he raged, adding: ‘Traitors are long remembered. May you burn in hell you evil bitch!’
It was signed ‘Maggie & Philip Fowles’, with Rev Fowles’ job title, ‘pastoral coordinator’, mobile phone number and address.
After Ms Soubry’s staff called in police, Rev Fowles emailed her the next day to say: ‘Dear Miss (sic) Soubry, I write to offer our unreserved apology for the tone of our email communication to you.’ He added that ‘the last line was written in the heat of the moment’ and admitted using ‘unwarranted language.’
Rev Fowles added: ‘Unfortunately, the whole communication inadvertently went via the St Monica Trust website and whilst the views expressed were heartfelt and personal they in no way represent those of the Trust.’
This time it was signed ‘Revd. Philip and Mrs Margaret Fowles’.
Last night, St Monica Trust’s ‘head of people’, Julie Haydon, said chief executive David Williams had made a personal apology to Ms Soubry.
She said: ‘Mr Fowles has been suspended pending further investigation. There hasn’t been a hearing as yet.
‘We can’t comment until we’ve concluded our internal processes. But we do obviously take matters like this incredibly seriously. Our chief executive spoke to Anna Soubry as soon as it came to our attention and expressed an apology on behalf of the Trust for any distress caused.’
The 100-year-old St Monica Trust, which describes itself as an ‘Anglican Foundation’, runs retirement communities in the West Country.
It was named after founder, Dame Mary Monica Wills of the Wills Tobacco firm.
Rev Fowles works at the charity’s Westbury Fields and Monica Wills House sites. He is also a lay preacher at nearby Nailsea United Reformed Church.
A colleague described him as ‘impulsive’.
The charity pledges to uphold ‘the dignity and spiritual well-being of residents in a nonjudgmental way to share their concerns, hopes, joys and frustrations’.
‘Hateful behaviour has no place in a democracy’
SHOCKING ATTACK: Rev Philip Fowles has been reported to the police over his comments to Tory MP Anna Soubry, right