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Councillor suspended over Twitter remarks
A COUNCILLOR has suspended herself from the Conservative Party after saying online that nobody but the right wing English Defence League (EDL) “sticks up for the English”.
Bournemouth Conservative Sue Anderson has referred herself to her party’s disciplinary procedures and the standards board.
She made the comments on Twitter on Saturday night and her views were retweeted by more than 20 people.
The mum-of-four, who represents Moordown, was criticised by hundreds of people and labelled “shameful” by one Twitter user.
She told the Echo she did not support the EDL and that it was a throwaway remark made in anger late at night.
But the Conservative Party’s Dorset chairman, Bournemouth Cllr Nick King, told the Echo: “These kind of comments are completely unacceptable.”
Bournemouth’s Labour group leader Cllr Ben Grower said: “She should seriously consider her position.
“The Conservative Party has got to deal with this matter quickly and firmly.”
Cllr Anderson also tweeted to an account jointly run by a woman of Asian descent: “If you don’t like it here go back to where you came from.”
The EDL opposes “Islamic extremism” and its demonstrations have seen violent clashes with the police and anti-racism protesters.
Last year Prime Minister David Cameron said the EDL was “sick”.
Around 20 tweets were deleted from Cllr Anderson’s account yesterday afternoon and her picture was removed.
Asked about her tweet on an EDL St George’s Day demonstration she told the Echo: “To see English people waving English flags being held back by the police from a peaceful protest – I don’t agree with that.
“That said, I would say the same about the Scots and the Welsh and the Irish.”
Asked about the tweet saying “go back to where you came from”, she said: “I tweeted that? It doesn’t sound like me. I would say that to anybody, any English person that was living in Bournemouth.”
She also said: “I am not going to continue this conversation if you are going to try and make out I am some sort of racist because I am not.
“You are trying to make me out to be an EDL supporter and I am not an EDL supporter. I am a Conservative supporter and that’s it.”
She later released a statement saying she had not understood the “racist” views of the EDL and that she abhorred intolerance. She made an unreserved apology.