Councillor accused of racist and sexist posts makes u-turn and apologises
- Credit: Paul Hewitt
A parish councillor accused of making racist, sexist and homophobic posts on his social media accounts has apologised – two days after saying he 'did not care' what people thought.
The Tory vice-chairman at Old Catton Parish Council, Glenn Tingle, who is also standing for Sprowston Town Council’s East Ward by-election on Thursday, was accused of making inappropriate jokes and comments on his social media accounts last Friday.
But, speaking to the local democracy reporting service (LDRS) on Monday, Mr Tingle said people may have found his posts, which have since been removed, in "bad taste" and apologised.
Mr Tingle's Facebook account included posts that imply all women have mental illnesses, that black footballers should beg the nation forgiveness after missing penalties at the Euro finals and suggestions that women can't drive.
In response, Mr Tingle said he did not "have beef" with the players, but he believed that had he had made a mistake in his job he would be expected to apologise.
He added that he was not a racist because his wife is Chinese and that he has gay and black friends.
Mr Tingle said he had to take responsibility for his actions and he would not make some of his comments again, but he was not “afraid to speak his mind” with free speech being key to British society.
On the post about women being mentally ill, Mr Tingle said it was an inappropriate “tongue in cheek” joke he thought was “quite funny”.
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“Obviously I don’t think people having mental illnesses is a comical thing, at that time that took me as a bit of a laugh.
"It seems you can't have any individuality in politics.
“I do sympathise with people with any kind of disorder mentally and I think they need help, it wasn't intended to be a dig.”
Mr Tingle also admitted he had had a change of heart from earlier comments made on Saturday, where he messaged the LDRS saying: "I’m not trying to please the far left I'm just stating things how I see them - I don't care about what others think.
“It's about time other politicians started to get in touch with the real people, not the campaign socialists they flock around."
Mr Tingle said there would be a meeting this evening to discuss the posts.