A THURROCK Labour councillor has been suspended by her party for passing on allegedly racist comments in an email.
The suspension was announced four days after it was revealed that Belhus councillor Sue Gray (pictured) had forwarded an email to people on her mailbox which purported to be an official email detailing Bedfordshire Police’s protocol guide for dealing with terrorism suspects who may be Muslims.
At the end of the email a comment was posted saying: “This is unbelievable. It’s now predicted that Britain will become an Islamic state by 2070. (Time to think about your children/grandchildren). Please forward this e-mail asap so that 40 per cent of British voters who didn’t vote last time might get the message.”
The email forwarded by Cllr Gray was passed to a police officer, who reported it and Essex police have confirmed an investigation to establish whether the crime of inciting racial hatred has taken place.
Cllr Gray issued an immediate apology when the story entered the public domain, saying she had inadvertently forwarded the email, one of many she receives, without reading it fully. She distanced herself from the comments within it, but the Labour party have announced her suspension pending an investigation.
Locally, the Labour group have been vehement critics of Conservative councillors who have been involved in gaffes, including Chafford councillor Neil Rockliffe who found himself suspended from the Tory ranks after his adverse comments about black residents in his ward. Labour were also quick to condemn Tory councillors Eddie Hardiman, Danny Nicklen and James Halden for their part in the ‘Winegate’ scandal when bottles of wine were taken from a civic reception.