Brighton councillor to apologise publicly for ‘swastika’ tweet

Posted On 17 Jun 2014 at 11:11 pm

A Brighton councillor is to apologise publicly for tweeting that a political rival appeared to be wearing a swastika necklace.

Councillor Ben Duncan, a Green member of Brighton and Hove City Council, tweeted the claim during a council meeting at Hove Town Hall in March.

He apologised to the former Conservative leader of the council, Councillor Mary Mears, who said that the symbol on her necklace was a St Bridget’s cross.

Councillor Mears has Irish family – and St Bridget is an Irish saint. The cross is shaped like a sunwheel and was traditionally made from rushes or straw.

The tweet, described during the meeting as offensive, was later the subject of a formal complaint.

Councillor Duncan has since agreed to apologise publicly at the next full council meeting on Thursday 17 July.

A report to the council’s Audit and Standards Committee, which meets next Tuesday, said: “An elected member has complained about a tweet that another member sent during a council meeting. The member found the tweet deeply offensive.

“At the end of the meeting the member who sent the tweet apologised to the member who had been offended but the apology was not taken as sincere.

“The monitoring officer referred the matter for investigation.

“During the process of investigation an attempt has been made to find a local resolution and the member complained about has agreed to make a public apology at the next council meeting.”

Tory councilor Mary Mears appears to be wearing Swastika motif on necklace at @BrightonHoveCC meeting. What’s that about? A #masonic thing?

— Ben Duncan (@KemptownBen) March 27, 2014

Gosh it’s easy to wind Tory councilors up here!

— Ben Duncan (@KemptownBen) March 27, 2014


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