by Stephen Tall on March 12, 2009
A couple of weeks ago, LDV highlighted the case of Sean Aspey, a Lib Dem councillor in Bridgend, who suddenly found himself caught in the headlights of the press after pictures showing him dressed as a Nazi for a fancy dress party (with an ‘Allo ‘Allo theme) were posted first on Facebook, then published in newspapers. Local Lib Dem party chiefs suspended him temporarily while an internal inquiry into the affair was carried out.
As I commented at the time:
There appears to have been an absurd over-reaction to this case which, sad to say, qualifies for categorisation under that ultra-cliché ‘PC-gone-mad’. I can certainly see how turning up to a council meeting wearing a Nazi uniform might be a disciplinary matter; I fail to see how wearing a Nazi uniform to a private party two months before you’re even elected a councillor might be.
So it’s only proper to give credit where it’s due, and in this case the local party can take a bow – the BBC reports:
… A Lib Dem spokesperson said Mr Aspey was a hard working councillor and had been reinstated and had apologised. “Allegations were made in the local and national press that Cllr Aspey had acted inappropriately by posting photographs of himself dressed as a Nazi on the Facebook website,” said the party spokesperson.
“As always such allegations are taken very seriously by the party and we took the decision to impose a temporary suspension until such time as we could investigate further. We have now concluded that investigation and found no case for further action.”
Party officials said the whole incident had been taken out of context in a combination of “political mischief making” and inaccuracies in some press reports, making the matter “appear sinister when it fact it was not”. …
“Sean Aspey has apologised if he inadvertently caused offence to anyone,” added the party spokesperson. He is a hard working town councillor and an asset to the community and the party.”