Cllr Chris Read, Labour Leader of Rotherham Council, has responded to the news that a Brexit Party councillor in Rotherham has been expelled by their party. Last weekend, The Times reported that Cllr Nigel Simpson had been dismissed by the Brexit Party after being found to have made inappropriate comments in a closed Facebook group that was “rife with Islamophobia”.
The Times revealed that a closed Facebook group set up by Brexit Party supporters was rife with Islamophobic comments. It also reveals that one of the Brexit Party councillors in Rotherham – Cllr Nigel Simpson – had now been dismissed from the party over online comments he made in this group warning of a “tribal takeover”.
In responding to this news, Cllr Chris Read has said:
“Cllr Simpson’s post was deeply inappropriate and I suspect many people will be shocked that he associated himself with an online group that was so obviously extremely racist in nature. That isn’t what we expect of councillors who serve the borough.
“It has been a bad few weeks for the Brexit Party locally – their former deputy leader resigned, then they decided to stand behind their councillor found to have made homophobic comments, and now they’ve had a member expelled for what their own party found to be unacceptable behaviour.
“If moving from UKIP was supposed to make them look more acceptable to the Rotherham public it seems to have backfired.”
Rotherham’s Brexit Party councillors were formally UKIP but mass swapped parties in July. This came just shortly after their Deputy Leader – Cllr Peter Short – also quit the party and went independent. Then, at the first Council Meeting after their mass swap, they chose to nominate Cllr Brian Cutts to the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel just months after he had been found to have made homophobic comments. Labour Councillors opposed this move by the Brexit Party and successfully blocked the nomination here.
It has now been revealed that Cllr Nigel Simpson has been expelled by the Brexit Party for his inappropriate comments in a closed Facebook group that was rife with Islamophobia.