Migrants tweet councillor in clear
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A TORY councillor who shared a photo on Facebook of naked women on a boat with the caption ‘If Carlsberg did illegal immigrants’ will not be disciplined, the Conservative Party has announced.
Mike Kusneraitis, who represents the party on Runnymede Borough Council, made the ‘misjudged post’ on July 24 in a closed residents’ Facebook group.
The Englefield Green ward councillor, who also made a series of anti-Muslims posts across two months, including a sexually explicit cartoon, had insisted he ‘never meant to upset anyone’ and had ‘apologised wholeheartedly’.
Peter Taylor, chairman of the Runnymede & Weybridge Conservative Association, said the party found the posts were not racist, ‘although they can be criticised on other grounds’, following an internal disciplinary process.
“Councillor Kusneraitis has had considerable support from the public, including the Muslim community,” he said.
“We are clear that Cllr Kusneraitis did not set out to cause offence or to propound extremist views. He has rightly apologised for any offence caused.
“He thought he was sharing material with a closed group of friends and someone leaked this to the media.”
Mr Taylor said the party had found the posts had not brought the Tories into disrepute as 70% of the posts on social media had been in support of him.
“We think that work needs to be done to ensure councillors and local party officers understand how social media works and will recommend this,” he said. “We will now draw a line under this unfortunate event.”
Surrey county councillor and chairman of the Runnymede & Weybridge Labour Party, Robert Evans, said the Conservatives’ decision not to discipline Cllr Kusneraitis was ‘very disappointing’.
“It shows an extreme lack of judgement on the part of the local Conservatives and really does beg the question whether he should continue as a councillor as someone who holds those views,” he said.
“What they should be questioning is if this man is a suitable person to represent the community? I’d say he’s not.
“I think somebody who thinks it’s acceptable to posts pictures like that has such flawed judgement and is not fit to be a representative of the community.
“Being a councillor is a serious position and you’ve got to have the right balance of judgement. This means he doesn’t.
“You’ve got to realise that if you’re using Twitter, or stuff like that, if someone holds those views they are not the right person to be representing other people.”
Cllr Kusneraitis could not be reached for a comment.
Councillor Mike Kusneraitis, and his tweet.