A FORMER mayor is under investigation after being accused of tweeting insulting comments about a neighbouring council and making offensive jokes over the killing of Oscar Pistorius’ girlfriend.
Tory Derek Adamson, who represesents Carlton Miniott on Hambleton DIstrict Council, who has been Mayor of Thirsk several times, was criticised by the Labour leader of City of York Council, James Alexander, over comments made on the social media site.
Coun. Alexander had tweeted that the North Yorkshire Green Party wanted to hand planning powers from from district councils to the county council -- to which Coun Adamson replied that they were “a bunch of oddballs who can’t be taken seriously, bit like York City Council.”
The York council leader has now written to the leader of Hambleton district demanding an apology and calling for action against the Coun. Adamson.
He said: ”Not only is such a comment insulting to North Yorkshire Green Party but also to all 47 hard working councillors of different persuasions on City of York Council. This includes good Conservatives and it is inappropriate to make such personal attacks.”
He said he had hoped “such rudeness and poor manners” were an isolated incident but claimed there were other personal remarks on Coun. Adamson's account about MP Chris Huhne and his wife.
There were also comments about paralympic gold medallist Sarah Storey and Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins that they did not deserve to be in the New Years Honours for “riding a bike”
Coun. Alexander said that worst of all in February Coun. Adamson had tweeted: ’Oscar Pistorius granted bail, must have run out of girlfriends to shoot.’
He said: “Making jokes about the murder of a young woman in her prime is disgusting. I do not believe such comments or attitude are befitting of people devoted to public service nor elected office."
Hambleton District Council has referred the matter for investigation to the council’s standards hearings panel.
Its leader Neville Huxtable said: ”It is important that this matter is addressed quickly, but equally important is that proper processes have been adhered to.”
Coun Adamson has declined to comment until after the investigation and his Twitter account has now been deleted.
In the meantime Hambleton, Darlington borough and Durham county councils say they are now drawing up policies for staff and councillors on the use of social media.
North Yorkshire County Council said they would be considering providing specific training on the use of social media after the elections this week .