PCC refuses to say sorry for ‘turkeys voting for Christmas’ Brexit tweet
THE North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has refused to apologise for describing voters who chose to leave the EU as “turkeys voting for Christmas”.
It comes despite the region’s police and crime panel (PCP) indicating it is set to uphold a complaint about the comments made by Plaid Cymru’s Arfon Jones on Twitter after it was raised by a member of the public.
In a tweet shared from his personal account in July this year, the former police inspector said: “Ah well, told you so back in 2016. Leavers = turkeys voting for Christmas.
“It will get worse and much more expensive not to mention a double whammy for the
economy and employment. Not seeing no benefits on the horizon.”
The remarks were made in response to a post by a Labour MP, who claimed the UK’s impending departure from the EU would lead to holidays becoming more expensive and cause lengthy travel delays. A report states the complainant felt offended by the nature of the language used by Mr Jones, describing it as “name calling”.
The grievance is likely to be upheld after the PCP’s complaints sub-committee recommended he should consider apologising and remove any reference to his role from his personal Twitter account.
In its proposed decision
report, which has been seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, the panel said: “The complaints subcommittee concluded that whilst Mr Jones refers to himself as the Police and Crime Commissioner on his personal social media page, then he cannot be acting in a purely private capacity, therefore the code of conduct applies.
“As the principles of the code of conduct should apply, then the comments made on social media were not appropriate and that the PCC had fallen short of his obligations taken as part of his oath of office, in that he agreed to treat others with dignity and respect.”
Mr Jones has repeatedly warned about the consequences of a no-deal Brexit, which he
said would cause a threat to law and order.
Stephen Hughes, chief executive of the PCC’s office, said Mr Jones would not be following the panel’s recommendations.
Mr Hughes said: “The PCC has noted the contents of the proposed decision report. The PCC remains of the view that this is not a conduct issue.
“Turkeys voting for Xmas is an English idiom where one clearly votes against one’s economic interest. The use of a phrase to describe behaviours cannot possibly be a conduct issue.
“The PCC does not accept the rationale, decision or recommendations and will be making no further comment in relation to this matter.”