October 24th, 2016

Councillor resigns from conservative party following row over immigration

Councillor resigns from conservative party following row over immigration Councillor resigns from conservative party following row over immigration
Updated: 2:33 pm, Jul 22, 2016

A COVENTRY councillor has resigned from the Conservative party after a row over private comments he made about immigration and ‘multiculturalism’.

But councillor Glenn Williams will carry on as an independent councillor, insisting he will continue to serve the Bablake residents who voted for him is this year’s council elections for the first time.

It follows private WhatsApp written comments he sent from his smart phone to a party colleague, which were later leaked.

Those comments included ‘I don’t believe in multiculturalism’; praise for the similarly minded former British politician Enoch Powell; ‘if you can’t speak English go home’; and the country would be ‘overrun with kebab shops’ if Turkey joined the European Union.

He could now be investigated by the Labour-run council for comments which he insists were made in a private capacity and were partly banter.

Coun Williams took to Twitter to state: “I have taken time to reflect on comments I made during a conversation with a party colleague.

“During the course of the conversation, I acted in a way which, on reflection, was not appropriate.

“These comments do not accurately reflect my opinions and values and I know that I have caused offence.

“I am deeply sorry for expressing these views. I have let down my colleagues, local party members and myself.

“With a heavy heart, and with utmost sincerity, I have resigned as a member of the Conservatives in recognition of the offence I have caused.”

His departure from the Conservatives leaves the Tories with 14 councillors, Labour 39 and he is now the one independent member at Coventry City Council.

He told BBC Coventry and Warwickshire he felt ‘betrayed’ by the ‘friend’ – who had been on the other side of the EU referendum debate as a ‘Remain’ supporter.

He said the leak of the messages came weeks after the matter had been dealt with privately by the Coventry Conservative Association, and he had apologised.

Coun Williams added: “When people don’t speak English when they come to our country it puts pressure on services.”

He said he had received messages of support from Bablake residents, adding: “Residents put me where I am. They will decide in four years’ time to keep me where I am or get rid of me.”