Bassetlaw councillors apologise after comparing Conservative party to Hitler's SS in social media scandal

A number of Bassetlaw Labour councillors have sparked outrage after they reacted to a social media post that compared the Conservative government to Adolf Hitler's SS.

By Kate Mason
Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 8:25 am

Bassetlaw District Councillors reacted to a social media post shared by Momentum activist Ian Ampleford joking about the Nazi paramilitary group.

The left-winger said he has been banned from posting in an online local community group after he "made an innocent post comparing the Tories to the SS".

According to reports coun Claire Plevin, for East Retford North, 'liked' the Facebook post and coun Jim Anderson for East Retford West, responded to it.

Several Bassetlaw District Council councillors have apologised for their actions on social media.

Coun Anderson reportedly 'joked' the SS would be "appalled" at being compared to the Conservatives.

He posted: "Well I’m not surprised that you’ve been black-shirted (is that the right expression?).

"Surely most self-respecting SS thinkers would be appalled at being linked in such a way."

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This comment was also reportedly 'liked' by the Mayor of Retford, coun Garry Clarkson.

Apologising for the incident coun Clarkson said: “I wish to unreservedly apologise for my actions which were wrong and inappropriate.”

Coun Plevin said: “My actions were wrong and inappropriate, and I apologise unreservedly.”

Council leader Simon Greaves said he was ‘appalled and disgusted’ by the comments and reactions of local councillors.

"The comments made do not reflect my views of those of Bassetlaw Labour Group. This will be pursued,” he posted on Twitter.

Deputy leader, coun Jo White branded the behaviour ‘idiotic and immature’ while coun Alan Rhodes said: “This in no way represents the view of the vast majority of Bassetlaw Labour councillors and members. I will be demanding that action is taken.”

Chairman of Bassetlaw Conservatives, Fraser McFarland, said it was ‘shocking behaviour’ and for the whip to be removed and they be expelled them from the Labour Party.

Interim chief executive at Bassetlaw District Council David Armiger said: “This is strictly a matter for the Labour Party and their members and we have no comment we wish to make on this matter.”

The Labour Party has been contacted for comment.