Conservative leader at Norfolk County Council defends ‘foreigner’ tweet

Cliff Jordan

Cliff Jordan - Credit: Submitted

The leader of the Conservative group at Norfolk County Council has insisted he was not being racist when he expressed disappointed his party had chosen a 'foreigner' to run as police and crime commissioner.

Former Canadian diplomat Lorne Green was selected by the Conservatives at the weekend for next May's elections.

But Cliff Jordan, who leads the Tory group at County Hall, took to Twitter to express his disappointment at his party's choice.

He tweeted: 'Selection of Conservative for PCC next May a Canadian Lorne Green selected as Conservative candidate. Oh well!!!' and, when fellow county councillor Tom Garrod replied: 'Your[sic] not supportive?', Mr Jordan responded, in a tweet he subsequently deleted: 'He's a foreigner, we could have done better'.

That led to criticism, including from his own party, and Mr Jordan tweeted: 'Matter of opinion. Native to GB for me.'

Mr Green, who holds British and Canadian passports, has lived in Snettisham, in west Norfolk for 17 years. The 69-year-old spent 30 years in the Canadian diplomatic service.

Mr Jordan said of his tweets: 'I don't have a problem with him being a Canadian, but my problem was that he was a Canadian government tool. If his government said something and he knew something, then he'd tell them.

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'I thought there were two other candidates who didn't have all that diplomatic baggage who I thought would have been better, rather than an ex-diplomat.'

When asked why he deleted the 'foreigner' tweet, Mr Jordan said: 'I deleted a load of them. People were misrepresenting it.'

Mr Green beat former army colonel Jamie Athill, and county councillor Alison Thomas.

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