Petition calling for councillor's resignation reaches nearly 3000 signatures - The Solihull Observer

Petition calling for councillor's resignation reaches nearly 3000 signatures

Solihull Editorial 9th Nov, 2017 Updated: 10th Nov, 2017   0

A PETITION calling for the resignation of a Solihull councillor after tweets about Muslims and immigration has reached nearly 3000 signatures.

Solihull council’s website states petitions attracting more than 2,000 will trigger a council debate.

The petition launched by a ‘Birmingham resident’ in September was a reaction to councillor Jeff Potts’ controversial re-tweets on his Twitter account.

The petition on the website has reached 2900 signatures.

Coun Potts, who at the time sat on a religious education committee, sparked outrage after re-tweeting numerous ‘offensive’ and inflammatory anti-Muslim remarks made by others.

It was confirmed to the Observer in September that Coun Potts was suspended by his own Conservative group.

The move means he can still attend meetings – but as an independent.

The former mayor remains under council investigation under code of conduct procedures.

He was also removed from positions on committees, including the religious education committees.

Calls for Coun Potts to resign began after he re-tweeted comments made by other individuals such as: “Deport and repatriate all Muslims from the UK or watch terrorists kill innocent people for generations to come.”

He also retweeted: “You’ve clearly not experienced the Pakistani hospitality, having a daughter raped by men who think she’s ‘white trash’.”

Coun Potts has maintained that he did not share or support the comments.

He commented that it was a “freedom of speech issue”.

His explanation failed to appease council opposition leader James Burn who demanded the councillor’s resignation.

More recently councillor Margaret Bassett was disciplined for sharing similar tweets.

But the Observer revealed last week Coun Bassett, unlike her former colleague, has not yet been made an independent councillor, despite council leader Bob Sleigh previously claiming she had been suspended from the Conservative group.

Council leader Bob Sleigh was implored to come clean with the public about why Coun Bassett remains listed on the council website as a Conservative councillor.

More recently, Green councillor Max McLoughlin has condemned the lack of action taken by the Conservative group.

He said that failing to decisively distance themselves from the views displayed by Coun Bassett could be perceived as “pandering to the Islamophobic vote”.

Council investigation into the conduct of both councillors is still on-going.

Coun Tim Hodgson, deputy leader of Solihull Green Pary, told us this week about Coun Bassett: “I’m shocked that the Conservative Party takes no action.

“The Conservatives must take decisive action to show the people of Solihull that these views do not represent their party.”


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