Smell of politics over Waveney Labour Leader's Twitter Allegations

Waveney District Council's Labour Leader Julian Swainson is someone I have followed for a while on Twitter. Not only are his Tweets frequently interesting from a political point of view but he has a sense of humour. He is clearly someone who is passionate about what he believes in.

With days to go before the key Waveney by-election that will decide the political balance of the Council something of a storm in a teacup has blown up about tweets sent by Swainson. According to the EDP:
“in particular it is alleged that several of the tweets are offensive, abusive, obscene and disrespectful to fellow councillors and national politicians, and also sexist and racist”
Now I have not seen the tweet - apparently about the attractiveness of certain opposition members - that sparked this off and that Swainson has apologised for. I expect it was meant as a joke but still he seems to have apologised for it.

Maybe if there wasn't an election in a few days time that would be the end of it but the Council's Standards Committee seems to be taking this very seriously. Indeed training for the whole Council has been ordered using Swainson's Tweets as an "example" of bad conduct as the Committee order:

The monitoring officer provides all councillors who use any social media, and in particular councillor Swainson, with training regarding appropriate language, the use of social media, the code of conduct and the principles of public life, with specific reference to the lessons to be learned from these complaints and councillor Swainson’s behaviour on Twitter.
As offered, councillor Swainson should now deliver a full and unreserved personal apology to each of the complainants.
Mr Swainson makes an additional apology to the whole council at the next full council meeting. 
The sub-committee also strongly recommended that Mr Swainson stands down from his position on the standards committee and that the full council appoints an alternative councillor to fill this position. 
 Contrast this with the same Standards Committee's response to former Tory Councillor Andrew Draper who was convicted of assaulting a police officer and driving three times over the legal limit. In this case the Committee claimed that it had no legal jurisdiction:
Following careful consideration the Assessment Sub-Committee determined that 'No further action' should be taken with regard to the complaint of criminal behaviour and Councillor Draper's subsequent conviction. In particular the Assessment Sub-Committee noted that the complaint does not, in this regard, pass one of the three initial tests which the complaint must satisfy i.e. whether the complaint, if proven, would be a breach of the Code under which the Member was operating at the time of the alleged misconduct. The Assessment Sub-Committee noted, with extreme disappointment and frustration, the current legal position whereby the Code of Conduct did not apply to Councillor Draper at the time of the misconduct.
So, basically, assaulting a police officer does not break the code of conduct but writing on Twitter, apparently, does.

Similarly contrast the behaviour of Waveney Tory Leader Colin Law who on hearing of Draper's conviction not only allowed him to continue for quite a while as a Tory councillor but said:
He is a good councillor and has been well received in his ward.“I stand by him as a councillor and naturally, going forward, we will have to see how it pans out.”
Law seems much more upset by Swainson's Tweets saying according to the BBC:
"The comments on Twitter are totally unacceptable when you consider they are in the public domain."
There is a strong smell of politics in all this. Waveney Tories are already running the Council on the casting vote of the Chairman that they appointed due to a legal technicality and seemed happy for months to rely on the vote of Draper who went on to add to his conviction for assaulting police with another one of sending an abusive email to a police officer before he finally resigned and prompted the by-election that takes place on Monday.

Now days before the election there seems to be an attempt to discredit the Labour Leader Swainson possibly to try and draw attention away from the reason the election was called in the first place.

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