Calls for Earls Barton parish councillor to stand down after Diane Abbott social media post

Parish councillor Wayne Mills says his post was not offensive despite claims to the contrary by a number of others.
Parish councillor Wayne Mills says his post was not offensive despite claims to the contrary by a number of others.

An Earls Barton parish councillor who is the party secretary of the Libertarian Party is facing calls to step down after publishing a social media post about MP Diane Abbott.

The Labour Party has called on Cllr Wayne MIlls to consider his position after sharing with his friends and the wider public a photo depicting the Labour MP on a credit card emblazoned with the words ‘race card, bank of racists’.

But Cllr Mills, who has been a parish councillor for five years, says he does not think the post is offensive, says he is not a racist and posted it in response to a recent incident in which Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd apologised to Diane Abbott, who was the country’s first black MP, for calling her ‘coloured’.

He said: “In my opinion Diane Abbott uses her skin colour for political motives. She uses identity politics and she should be ashamed of herself.”

Cllr Mills also called Diane Abbott, who is shadow Home Secretary, and fellow Labour MP David Lammy ‘thick and useless’.

David Lammy is Harvard educated and Diane Abbott studied at Cambridge University. Both MPs have spoken out about the racist abuse they experience while doing their job.

A Labour Party Spokesperson said: “When someone uses outdated epithets like “coloured”, it’s right that people speak out. If Mr Mills can’t see that, then he can’t properly represent the community of Earls Barton.

“Mr Mills is not just an elected parish councillor, but the party secretary of the Libertarian Party and as such should immediately apologise to Diane and consider his position.”

Elected councillors have to abide by a code of conduct and three complaints have been made to Wellingborough Council’s monitoring officer Julie Thomas.

A response to one of the complaints from the monitoring officer said that while she considers the post to not be acceptable or appropriate, the complaint is inadmissible and does not fall within her remit as the councillor was acting in a private capacity.

Cllr Mills says he is the victim of a personal vendetta by local Conservative Party activists. He has since removed the post which he put up on March 7.