THESE actions are ‘deplorable’ and cannot be tolerated.
That is the stark message from the vice-chairman of Portsmouth City Council’s licensing committee in response to a stream of racist posts on the Facebook page in the name of taxi driver Viv Young.
Mr Young, who represents hackney drivers and has a share in City Wide Taxis, came under fire after offensive messages published under his name were exposed, and the posts have been criticised by the city’s Muslim leaders.
Tory councillor Ken Ellcome said: ‘It is deplorable that people are writing that sort of stuff on Facebook, whoever it is.
‘It is unacceptable and I await to see the outcome of the council’s investigation and see whether it will come before the council’s licensing committee.’
Cllr Donna Jones, Tory leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘Any kind of racist behaviour that is made in conjunction with any interaction with us as a local body, in particular this case, is of huge concern to me.
‘It is unacceptable behaviour.
‘I welcome the investigation and I will be reviewing the conclusion of the investigation as a matter of urgency.
‘I take these allegations seriously – they will not be tolerated here in Portsmouth.’
But supporters have come to the defence of Mr Young and say he is not racist.
John Coates, 59, a taxi driver for City Wide Taxis, said: ‘I’ve never known him to be racist.’
‘I’ve known him for years and he has done a lot for the trade.’
A female taxi driver, who did not wish to be named, said: ‘I can’t see him saying that, he doesn’t come across as that sort of guy.
‘I wouldn’t have thought he’d say something like that, he always seemed pretty nice. I’d be very surprised if he has said it.’