Defiant Vale councillor vows to carry on after Hitler retweet row - The Evesham Observer

Defiant Vale councillor vows to carry on after Hitler retweet row

Evesham Editorial 18th Jan, 2018 Updated: 18th Jan, 2018   0

A DEFIANT Evesham district councillor has vowed to continue serving residents despite resigning from the Conservative group on Wychavon District Council in a row over his contoversial retweet of a Hitler joke.

Coun Matt Snape, ward member for Evesham South, stepped down on Wednesday after he retweeted a joke on Twitter featuring a picture of Adolf Hitler with the caption ‘Have you experienced hate speech? Give me a call on nein, nein, nein.”

His actions caused fury online with critics labelling his actions ‘insensitive’ and questioning whether it was the correct behaviour for an elected councillor.

But he also won support from a number of residents who agreed with his stance and pointed to use the use of the Nazi leader and references to the conflict in other forms of advertising in the past

Coun Snape vowed to continue as an independent and thanked all those who had supported him.

“I can understand why people would take offence to my retweet to start with. But the picture is overlooking the message,” he said.

“I have spoken to the person behind the account. They have had to file for police protection from trolls and they have had to suspend their original account.

“They are not a neo-Nazi. Their great-grandparents were persecuted in the 1930s as they were Jewish.

“I am a free speech advocate. As well as being a councillor, I am also a journalist.

“I have reported on victims of left-wing bullying, people who have been made to feel guilty for supporting Brexit, Trump and the Conservatives generally.

“I have reported on events like ‘Kick A Tory Day’ and the vile comments from Labour candidates about Tories that make what I’ve done look mild. These are the people whose voices are being ignored.

Coun Snape, who will be up for election next May, highlighted his work for the Blasting News website to expose racism and bullying in the Southampton Conservative Party.

“Sadly, my journalism and politics conflicted with each other. That is the only thing I regret. I do not regret supporting the message behind the poor tweet.”

“The only people I apologise to are those who came to campaign for me last year and to my association, who have been nothing but supportive.

“The people of Evesham South will not have to go through another by-election. It is not fair to them and they deserve better from their elected representatives.”

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