SOLIHULL Councillor Jeff Potts has been banned from holding a committee post, ordered to attend diversity training and reprimanded by a conduct panel after retweeting offensive anti-Muslim messages.
Knowle councillor Potts shared a number of extreme comments about Muslims including on which read: “Deport and repatriate all Muslims from the UK or watch terrorists kill innocent people for generations to come.”
Coun Potts also shared a tweet from another account which commented: “Drug related.. mmm.. will wait on the verdict wonder if his name will be a good old fashioned British name.”
The Monitoring Officer at Solihull Council recieved 50 complaints concerning tweets, or retweets, that Coun Potts had posted.
According to council documents, all of these complaints were raising concerns about the nature of those messages stating that they were discriminatory, and some of the complainants also claimed that they were xenophobic and racist.
As we have previously reported, Coun Potts was suspended from the Conservatives, from his role as vice-chairman of the council’s planning committee and from sitting as a Conservative on committees such as the licensing committee and Safer Solihull board 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 of the panel’s meetings, has issued recommended sanctions expected to be approved by council.
These include Coun Potts is barred from serving on committees or holding any senior roles until the end of his term in 2020.
The panel also imposed a formal censure – or reprimand.
After the meeting councillor James Burn, leader of Solihull Green Party, said: “This has been a shocking incident for all of us in Solihull.
“I am glad the council has taken a strong line and I am hopeful we can all move forward together towards a truly inclusive and welcoming borough.”