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Councillor suspended by Conservative group after concerns about Facebook posts

PUBLISHED: 13:49 13 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:19 13 June 2020

West Suffolk councillor Frank Warby has resigned from the Conservatives and from West Suffolk Council. Picture: ARCHANT

West Suffolk councillor Frank Warby has resigned from the Conservatives and from West Suffolk Council. Picture: ARCHANT

A Suffolk councillor has been suspended by his party after concerns about his social media activity.

Frank Warby, councillor for Moreton Hall in Bury St Edmunds has been suspended by the West Suffolk Conservative Group pending further investigation.

West Suffolk Council is also carrying out a formal standards investigation, after Mr Warby shared several Facebook posts relating to the recent removal of statues across the UK with links to slavery and Britain’s colonial history.

He also shared images of the murdered British soldier Lee Rigby, asking why there were no riots in the UK following his death.

The investigation comes just days after another councillor, Robin Vickery, resigned from both Suffolk and Ipswich councils, following similar posts being shared on his Facebook page.

MORE - Councillor quits after hundreds of complaints over sharing of racist posts

Leader of West Suffolk Council John Griffiths, said today: “After being made aware of the social media posts that Cllr Warby had posted or shared, West Suffolk Council has commenced a formal standards investigation.

“In addition, the West Suffolk Conservative Group has taken the immediate action to suspend him from the group pending further investigation.

“As councillors we of course have a duty to represent our entire community equally, fairly and without prejudice. However, and since there is now a formal standards investigation, it would not be appropriate for me to comment further while this independent process is ongoing.”

Mr Warby said yesterday: “I’m not a racist. I have never been a racist. I am not a racist person.

“I did not post these images, I shared someone else’s posts.

“We are caught up in a black and white fight at the moment. It seems no matter what you say you will be a racist.”

He said he would wait and see what the investigation said, adding that he was deleting his Facebook account. “I have had enough of people picking on me.”

Lee Rigby’s mother Lyn has released a statement asking members of the public not to use her son’s murder “to fuel arguments against the Black Lives Matter protests”, describing the politicised images of her son as “heartbreaking”. Mr Warby said he was unaware Mrs Rigby had made that statement.

MORE - ‘I’m not a racist’ says councillor under investigation


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