4th Jul, 2022

"It's a witchhunt," claims another councillor tackled by us over immigration tweets

SOLIHULL Conservative councillor tweets have come under the spotlight again after Councillor Margaret Bassett retweeted controviersal comments about immigrants.

Coun Bassett (Silhill) who sits on a religious education committee was ‘stunned’ when the Observer contacted her over the tweets.

Last week, we reported councillor Jeff Potts had been suspended from the Conservative group after retweeting comments about muslims, and he is this week under police investigation (see page 3).

Coun Bassett retweeted comments made by others including: “Why should thousands of British citizens lives be unnecessarily put at risk for the sake of importing ‘refugees’ from a safe country?”

Coun Bassett also retweeted a comment from another account which commented: “Which just goes to prove my point that these people don’t view our generosity as kindness, they view it as a weakness,” about a tweet about the foster parents who took in a 15-year-old Iraq child who allegedly played a part in the London tube bombing.

Speaking to the Observe, she said: “Those tweets do not necessarily represent my views.

“They may appear in retweets I have posted onto the general sphere but do not necessarily represent my opinion.

“I do not think going for a political witchhunt is right.”

When asked by the Observer what her response would be to those who would consider such tweets racist, she replied: “I am not anti-semitic or racist.

“I am stunned that anybody as you appear to be are accusing me of being racist, I resent that.”

“I have disclaimed on my account that retweets do not necessarily represent my opinion.”

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council had not received a formal complaint about Coun Bassett’s account at the time of going to press.

It said: “To date the council has not received a formal complaint regarding Coun Bassett’s twitter account, so under the code of conduct procedure we are unable to conduct an investigation.”

The Observer understands that a formal complaint is being considered.

The council’s Green party leader, Coun James Burn, has called on the council to take meaningful action to reassure residents, visitors and investors that the borough is welcoming of every member of the community.

He added: “This is now starting to look like a pattern within the Conservative party in Solihull.

“The Conservatives and the council as a whole urgently need to take meaningful action to reassure residents, visitors and investors that Solihull is welcoming of every member of our community regardless of their background.

“Unless strong action is taken all of this threatens to damage the good name of Solihull and leave many residents feeling anxious and unwelcome in their own home town.”

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