December 7 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, October 20, 2013
A councillor who sent a tweet stating that a violent film showed how to deal with “immigration issues” is being investigated to see if his actions amount to being a hate crime.
Former chairman of Tendring District Council, Danny Mayzes, 26, has also been suspended from the Conservative group at the council and the Conservative Association in Clacton after sending the tweet last week.
Mr Mayzes’ tweet read: “Am watching Machete – now that’s how you DEAL with immigration issues lol”.
The message referred to the action film Machete, which features vigilante gangs battling illegal immigrants along the Mexican border.
Mr Mayzes, who has since shut down his Twitter and Facebook accounts, has apologised for the tweet but was not available for comment about the police investigation.
An Essex Police spokesman said: “We are investigating an allegation of hate crime following a tweet by a Clacton councillor relating to views on immigration. We are ascertaining whether an offence has been committed.”
As a result of the police probe, the Conservative Group on Tendring District Council (TDC) suspended Mr Mayzes with immediate effect on Wednesday night and leader Peter Halliday said the group’s position will be reviewed when those investigations have reached a conclusion.
He added: “Given the involvement of the police it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this stage.”
Chairman of the Clacton Conservative Constituency Association, Delyth Miles said she had suspended Mr Mayzes with immediate effect last Saturday and described his actions as “totally unacceptable”.
She added: “The Conservative Party has extremely high expectations for the standards of its councillors and Mr Mayzes’ actions are inappropriate and totally unacceptable.
“Our councillors are expected to show high standards of behaviour in all forms of public life including the use of social media.”
She said Mr Mayzes was “deeply sorry” and had volunteered to close his Twitter and Facebook accounts.
She added: “The matter will now be referred to the executive council who will come to a decision in due course.”
However, Ms Miles said Mr Mayzes’ actions were out of character.
She said: “In my experience I have not seen Mr Mayzes show any form of prejudice, in fact when he was chairman of the Tendring District Council I was extremely impressed with the way he carried out his duties with dignity and maturity.
“He has also shown this attitude in the work he has carried out with vulnerable and disadvantaged young people.”
But Tendring labour councillor Ivan Hendersom, described the tweet as “disgusting”.