Twitter temporarily banned by Cornwall Council leader after "inappropriate" tweets

Cornwall Council's Alec Robertson
Image caption Alec Robertson banned Twitter after the "inappropriate nature" of some tweets

A row has broken out in Cornwall after a council leader banned councillors from tweeting.

Alec Robertson banned councillors from using Twitter during a cabinet meeting earlier citing the "inappropriate nature" of tweets "posted by members".

He said he was concerned about the "potential impact on the reputation of the council".

Several councillors then tweeted their annoyance and have launched a bid to get Tweeters to unfollow the council.

On his blog, Liberal Democrat councillor Alex Folkes said: "Councillor Robertson arrived and proceeded to read some of the tweets that had been posted by Councillor Jeremy Rowe and myself."

'Must never happen again'

Some of his tweets included "Leader is absent because he is busy trying to win awards" and "Aha - the Leader and Councillor Ridgers have finished winning awards and have graced us with their presence".

He later tweeted that he had asked the "Monitoring Officer to look into legality of ban".

A statement released by the Conservative-led council said: "Cornwall Council has not banned the use of social media such as Twitter from its meetings.

"The Council is fully committed to openness, transparency and engagement including via social media platforms such as Twitter."

Liberal Democrat group leader, Jeremy Rowe said: "If you put out something that's libellous, incorrect or personally insulting then you have to take the chances on that.

"Nothing that went out falls into that category, it was just stuff that was critical of what the administration at county hall is doing."

On his twitter account, Independent councillor Andrew Wallis, added: "My blog post urges you to unfollow Cornwall Council after today's action on banning Twitter. It must never happen again."

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