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Councillor in row over Hillsborough report comments
Political leaders in Calderdale have condemned comments by one of the district’s councillors about the Hillsborough disaster and the Lawrence inquiry.
Councillor Roger Taylor, who represents Northowram and Shelf for the Tories, was criticised by JUST West Yorkshire, a Bradford-based organisation which promotes racial justice, civil liberties and human rights, after comments he made to the charity via e-mail.
The move followed the group’s call for West Yorkshire Chief Constable Sir Norman Bettison to resign in the wake of the findings of the recent Hillsborough Report. Coun Taylor made reference to the Hillsborough findings as being “overloaded with politically-correct language” like the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, something he also labelled “a joke in itself”.
When contacted by the Telegraph & Argus, Coun Taylor had said he was not going to enter into a defence of what he said in a private e-mail to the group.
Now both the Labour leader of Calderdale Council, Councillor Tim Swift, and deputy leader, Liberal Democrat Councillor Janet Battye, have spoken out against Coun Taylor’s comments and urged the Tory group to dismiss him.
Coun Swift described his comments as “unacceptable” and “completely insensitive” while Coun Battye said that they were “totally inappropriate”.
Ratna Lachman, of JUST West Yorkshire, said yesterday: “We welcome the investigation into Councillor Taylor’s conduct by the Standards Committee. We hope holders of public office will understand that they are accountable and cannot abuse their privilege of public office.”