Tory councillor suspended for sharing anti-Muslim FB post
Categories: Latest News
Friday November 11 2016
The Stroud News and Journal reports on the suspension of a Conservative councillor and former chairman of Stroud District Council following the discovery of an anti-Muslim post on his Facebook page.
The local paper reports on the investigation launched by the Conservative Party after the post, originating on the English Defence League Facebook page was shared by Councillor Mark Rees.
Councillor Rees, who defected to the Conservative Party just last week, shared a “joke” from the English Defence League page. The “joke” revolves around a “Muslim woman in a burkha” who is asked by her son what the difference is between democracy and racism. The mother says, “Democracy is when the UK tax payers work hard every day so that we can get all our benefits…you know, like free housing, free healthcare, free education and grants to build our mosques and community centre’s [sic] and so on and & so forth”.”
The son asks, “But Mama, don’t the English tax payers get angry about that?” to which the mother replies, “Sure they do…and that’s what we call Racism!”
The local paper quotes a spokesperson from the Conservative Party who confirmed “Mr Rees has been suspended from the party with immediate effect pending investigation.
“This decision was made very recently after we received a serious complaint in the last 24 hours.”
The date stamp from the screenshot of the “joke” reprinted by the Stroud News and Journal shows the post was shared on 27 October.
Councillor Rees admitted sharing the post but said it had been done “by accident”.
He responded to his suspension and ensuing investigation stating “I am not a racist and I don’t endorse any kind of phobia.
“I am a Christian man and I will stand up for what I believe in. I have my values and they are important to me.
Councillor Rees said he did not defend the post, nor did he agree with it.
“It wasn’t done deliberately with any malice or hatred. I am sorry if anyone was offended. I have a wide range of friends and have always stood up for the communities I’ve represented,” he added.