Retford councillor promoted on county council after Islamophobic Facebook post

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A Retford councillor suspended over an Islamophobic social media post has been reinstated and promoted - sparking outrage among fellow politicians.

Retford East councillor Steve Vickers was removed from his seat in March after news emerged that he had attacked London mayor Sadiq Khan in an anti-Muslim Facebook post.

In the post - published in 2016 - Councillor Vickers wrote how ‘he (Mr Khan) and his brethren are part of the problem’ while commenting on the terror attacks at the time in Nice, France.

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In the post the Retford councillor made calls for ‘enough of all the political correctness’ saying Europe should be made ‘safe again’.

Councillor Steve VickersCouncillor Steve Vickers
Councillor Steve Vickers

He directed the Islamophobic jibe at Mr Khan after noting that the mayor had ‘asked questions about increased security in London’.

After news of the comments emerged in March Coun Vickers was immediately suspended.

However during a Nottinghamshire County Council meeting this month the reinstated Retford East councillor was also made chairman of the Health and Wellbeing board - with a £23,000 salary.

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A screenshot of Councillor Vickers' Facebook postA screenshot of Councillor Vickers' Facebook post
A screenshot of Councillor Vickers' Facebook post

Alan Rhodes, Worksop North councillor and leader of the county council Labour group, described the move as ‘outrageous’.

Councillor Rhodes told how Nottinghamshire County Council leader Kay Cutts had said Coun Vickers ‘apologised’ for his comment.

However Alan said: “That isn’t good enough - if I was leader of the council as I have been in the past there’s no way I would give someone with those views a senior position.

“It’s quite outrageous - by doing this she is tacitly confirming his comments are acceptable and I’m afraid that’s not the case.

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Councillor Alan RhodesCouncillor Alan Rhodes
Councillor Alan Rhodes

“Anyone in public office with those views is not fit for purpose.”

Coun Rhodes told how with so many GPs in public health being represented by members of the South Asian and other migrant communities the decision to place Coun Vickers on the Health and Wellbeing board was ‘bone-headed’.

Following the controversial announcement this month Ashfield District Council suspended its involvement in the Health and Wellbeing board.

Nottinghamshire County Council have been contacted for comment.

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