Conservative Councillors Suspend Colleague Over Tweet

West Lindsey District Council’s Conservative Group last night (Wednesday, 4th September) voted to formally censure and suspend Cllr. Roger Patterson for a tweet he made on 24th July, shortly before midnight, which involved language suggesting that Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn should be ‘swinging from the gallows like Saddam Hussein’.

Conservative Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Cllr. Giles McNeill, had taken immediate action following receiving reports of the post on twitter within hours using his powers to suspend Cllr. Patterson on Thursday, 25th July. As per Conservative Party rules Cllr. McNeill undertook an investigation and reported the matter to yesterday’s Group Meeting for their decision.

Cllr. McNeill had concluded that Cllr. Patterson had ‘breached the Group’s Rules by not observing the highest standards in his conduct as a councillor, member of the Group and member of the Party’.  Further that in posting the comments that he did he ‘failed to observe the letter and spirit of the Council’s Code of Conduct and the Conservative Party’s Code of Conduct’.

Cllr. McNeill had recommended that the Group formally censure Cllr. Patterson, suspend him for an additional 65 days, taking Cllr. Patterson’s overall suspension to three months and two weeks, and require him to undertake training in the appropriate use of social media and the code of conduct.

Conservative councillors last night met at the Guildhall in Gainsborough and voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Leader’s recommendations. Cllr. McNeill commented:

“The Conservative Group of West Lindsey District Council last night overwhelmingly voted to censure Cllr. Roger Patterson for a tweet regarding the Leader of the Opposition, confirmed his suspension from the Group until Friday, 8th November 2019 and require him to undertake training on social media and the code of conduct. He will sit as a non-aligned independent at Council meetings during his suspension.

“We recognised the seriousness of Cllr. 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.”