Labour councillor Freddie Bailey has said a picture of him standing by a burning Tory placard was “just some teenagers messing around at a festival”.Advertisement
Cllr Bailey, who represents the College ward in Fulwood, Tweeted the picture when his Twitter followers reached 40,000.
The photo was shared by Preston Conservative Group, who branded Bailey a “nazi” and said: “He’ll be burning the Torah next. This is what a Corbyn future looks like everyone. “
But when Blog Preston approached Cllr Bailey, who is the cabinet member for community wealth building, about the picture, he responded: “I didn’t burn the Tory placard.
“I was at a music festival and in the dead of night walking back after seeing New Order and other DJ’s; me and a mate were walking back to our tents and on the walk back we passed a group that we didn’t know that had already lit the placard. This was ages ago.
“The group that were burning the sign didn’t like the Tories because of their cruel, heartless policies that they have inflicted on the poorest and vulnerable people in our country.
“They have created a society of burning injustice and I guess that’s why they burned the sign.
“Personally I think the press should talk more about the 14 million people that currently live in poverty in the UK rather than ignore the truth and focus on some teenagers messing about at a festival.”
Read more: Labour apologise for market Tweet ahead of offer to traders
Cllr Ron Woolham, deputy leader of Preston Conservative Group, said: “The burning of a political flag is disgraceful behaviour by Councillor Freddie Bailey, which could quite easily be construed as a hate crime and could be inflammatory.
“Such acts are offensive, and coming from an elected Councillor are immature and lacking respect and responsibility.
“Are Labour in total disarray? First a cabinet member leaks a confidential report regarding the market via Twitter and then a different cabinet member burns a political flag.”
Cllr John Potter, leader of the Lib Dems, said: “We don’t care what they say to each other on Twitter, we are too busy knocking on doors and representing our residents.
“Maybe both sides should stop acting like children and remember the communities they are supposed to be representing.”
What do you think of the photo? Leave your comments below