AN OFFICIAL complaint has been made against a Labour councillor after he shared an image of a defaced Conservative poster, with swastikas daubed on photographs of rival candidates, on Twitter.

Conservative Stockton Borough Council candidates Hilary Vickers, and former serviceman Tony Riordan, had ‘Nazi c***s’ written across their photographs on the leaflet, and a Swastika drawn on each of them, along with other comments about Tories and austerity.

A photograph of the defaced poster was shared on Twitter by Stockton councillor Chris Barlow, who represents Billingham North ward.

The tweet was later deleted.

Matt Vickers, leader of the Conservative group on Stockton Council, reported the matter to Cleveland Police, who at first told him they would investigate it before instead referring it to Stockton Council’s Monitoring Officer.

A Council spokesperson said: “We have received a complaint and it is being considered under our code of conduct for members.”

The Northern Echo:

Cllr Vickers, pictured above, said: “The images were of a noticeboard featuring the opponents’ literature which had been defaced – it is not necessarily the case that Cllr Barlow was responsible for the editing of the document.

“But I find it extremely concerning that a councillor would tweet such images as if they were a source of entertainment. This sort of abuse should be challenged and not legitimised by councillors.

“There is no place for the politics of hate, intimidation and bullying in Stockton.

“A small number of immature and frankly nasty individuals choose to engage in slurs and abuse of those who put themselves forward to serve their communities - it’s not acceptable and I would expect councillors of all political parties to discourage and challenge this.

“We will continue to put forward our offering to the public and we will not be deterred by intimidation.”

Cllr Barlow was unavailable for comment but a spokesperson for Stockton Labour said: “Cllr Barlow has accepted it was an inappropriate thing to share and has deleted the tweet.”

Mr Riordan is a former police officer who has also served in the Royal Navy.

Cllr Vickers added: “It is not the first time that Conservative candidates in Norton West have been subjected to abuse.

“At the last local elections the Conservative candidates had to call police after vandalism to their property.”