17th Feb, 2020

Grenfell tweet lands Solihull councillor Ken Hawkins a ban

Sarah Mason 4th Aug, 2017

SOLIHULL councillor Ken Hawkins has been banned from holding senior roles in council following a controversial Tweet about angry Grenfell Tower residents and protesters.

Former mayor Coun Hawkins (Conservative/Blythe) retweeted a national journalist’s picture of protesters calling for justice over the fire which engulfed the 24-storey block on June 14 and left at least 80 dead.

He then added the caption ‘Lets get ourselves a hangin!’

The tweet was deleted but not before it was screen-grabbed and retweeted by others.

A number of complaints were made following the tweet to the monitoring officer at Solihull Council.

Coun Hawkins was suspended from his position as cabinet member for Environment, Housing and Regeneration while an investigation was carried out.

The Code of Conduct Hearing Panel, made up of three councillors and an independent person who is invited to attend all meetings, sat last week and decided to issue sanctions.

These include that Coun Hawkins is prevented from holding any cabinet member position for the rest of the municipal year, which ends in April.

The panel also ordered Coun Hawkins to attend training on the broader aspects of using social media.

Council documents released after the meeting state the panel’s final decision was as follows: “The Panel found that Coun Hawkins had breached the Code of Conduct for Councillors, in that he had failed to behave in accordance with the Council’s policies, procedures and protocols, he did not act appropriately in regard to leadership and example, and did not treat people with respect.

“The Panel also found that Cllr Hawkins breached the Council’s social media guidance for members in that he posted a message on social media which could not be considered to be polite, respectful or professional in tone.”

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