Councillor suspended over Corbyn tweet

Coun Roger Patterson
Coun Roger Patterson

The suspension of a Conservative councillor who tweeted Jeremy Corbyn ‘should swing from the gallows like Saddam Hussein’ has been extended - and he has been told he must carry out social media training.

Scampton ward councillor Roger Patterson - who sits on West Lindsey District Council - has said he deeply regretted his “stupid, off the cuff remark” about Labour party leader Mr Corbyn, after being suspended from his party.

West Lindsey District Council leader Giles McNeill undertook an investigation into the tweet and told a Conservative group meeting his colleague had breached the rules of the party and the council’s code of conduct by not observing the highest standards.

In response, the group censured Coun Patterson for his tweet and suspended him until November 8, 2019.

He added that the councillor would be required to undertake training on social media and the code of conduct.

Councillor McNeill said: “We recognised the seriousness of Coun Patterson’s mistake and in my recommendations reduced the maximum six month suspension we could impose because he had pretty quickly realised his mistake and issued a comprehensive and unconditional apology.”

Councillor Patterson deleted the original tweet shortly after posting it, and later apologised for its contents.

At the time, he said: “I’m not going to defend myself because it was quite a stupid thing to say. It wasn’t in anyway inciting anybody to do anything, it was a stupid remark when I was tired and late at night.

“I should know better, but I’m a human being, we make mistakes, and all say stupid things that we regret.

“I would never suggest or condone using violence against anyone, and it certainly was not my intention to indict anything,” he said.

“I sincerely apologise to Jeremy Corbyn and anyone else offended.”

Councillor Patterson will sit as a non-aligned independent during his suspension.