Fareham Tory kicked out of party over racist outburst: I’m sorry

03/05/12 CB

Conservative party winning candidate, David Whittingham rewceives support from (left), councillor Sean Woodwasupporters applause during the local election count for Fareham at Ferneham Hall.
Picture: Ian Hargreaves 1 ENGPPP00120120405024925

03/05/12 CB Conservative party winning candidate, David Whittingham rewceives support from (left), councillor Sean Woodwasupporters applause during the local election count for Fareham at Ferneham Hall. Picture: Ian Hargreaves 1 ENGPPP00120120405024925

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THE councillor who has today been kicked out of the Conservative Party following a racist outburst says he’s sorry for what happened.

Cllr Whittingham was investigated by the borough council following complaints by three senior officers about his behaviour.

Speaking to The News, Cllr Whittingham admitted he did mock a foreign accent when explaining how a telephone conversation went with a call worker.

But he said claims he did not want foreigners living in his road or within his housing stock ‘entirely fictitious’.

Cllr Whittingham said: ‘Yes, I did mimic (the accent) I was either on the telephone with the bank or Vodafone about a problem I had with something.

‘I had a call back and she said “is this Mr Whittington”. The man behind me (in the civic offices) must have took umbrage with me speaking in a foreign manner.

‘But where the monitoring officer has said in his report it was a Indian or Pakistani accent, I dispute that.’

Responding to claims about not wanting to live near foreigners, Cllr Whittingham said: ‘With regards to that, that was entirely fictitious.

‘This was based on a conversation I had with a third party (one of the council officers). The chap who made the complaint, I didn’t even know he was there. The council never took a statement from the first person I spoke to.’

Cllr Whittingham claims he was booted out of the Conservative Party ‘unofficially’ when he publicly declared he preferred Councillor Nick Gregory over Suella Fernandes to become the next MP for Fareham at last year’s general election.

Cllr Whittingham said: ‘I was booted out of the party some time ago, unofficially, when Mark Hoban stood down last year.

‘I was then told I had missed the selection panel (to stand to be MP), so I put Nick Gregory’s name forward. Being a sitting councillor, and knowing the issues in Fareham, I thought he would be a good candidate. And the Conservatives took umbrage with that.’

Cllr Whittingham says he has sent a letter to the senior officers apologising for causing any offence.

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