Councillor who 'liked' Tweets backing US rioters deletes account and apologises
- Credit: Suffolk Conservatives
A councillor who 'liked' posts which praised the Washington rioters and peddled conspiracy theories has apologised - and deleted her Twitter account.
Kay Oakes, who represents Needham Market on Suffolk County Council, liked tweets that had been put up by supporters of those trying to storm the building as the events were taking place.
The Conservative then liked comments from conspiracy theorists claiming the riot had been orchestrated by left-wingers to discredit President Donald Trump.
She has now said: “I would like to apologise for ‘liking’ a small number of posts on Twitter which suggested, inaccurately, that those other than the obvious perpetrators were behind the events at the US Congress.
"It can sometimes be too easy to be taken in by conspiracy theories on social media and my judgement on this occasion was wrong.
“I hope that all those who know me realise how hard I work on behalf of our community and how dear to me our part of Suffolk is.
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"I’m sorry if my actions have in any way distracted from the work the NHS, local councils, and all key workers are doing to keep us safe during this pandemic.
"Supporting our communities at this time should be our focus and I will be taking a break from publicly posting on social media to do just that.”
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Paul Rayner, chairman of Bury St Edmunds Constituency Conservative Association, said: “As I’ve previously made clear, my colleagues and I at BSECCA condemn the violence that took place at the US Capitol.
"It is absolutely essential that there is now a peaceful transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden.
“Kay has been a good local councillor since her election in 2018 and represented her electorate well.
"We’ve made very clear, to all our candidates, the conduct we expect of them on social media and while Kay did not post anything supporting the violence taking place in Washington DC, we have emphasised to her that ‘liking’ tweets which contained inaccurate conspiracy theories was inappropriate and unacceptable.”
Meanwhile, Conservative opposition leader at Ipswich council, Ian Fisher, has come under fire for saying in an exchange with Labour councillor Alasdair Ross that he would still prefer President Trump in the White House than President-elect Biden.
Mr Fisher said: "It's true that I prefer Trump's policies to those of Biden. It doesn't mean I like the character of the man and I certainly don't support the rioting - or what he said to encourage it.
"But I do think the main culprits were the rioters themselves. What Trump said was wrong - but the rioters have to have most responsibility for what happened."