Cumbria

Allerdale council leader's golliwog post blamed on hackers

Alan Smith
Image caption Allerdale Borough Council has elections for all of its seats on 2 May

A Labour council leader has blamed hackers for posting a link of a golliwog on his Facebook page.

Alan Smith, leader of Allerdale Borough Council, said he was reporting the hack to police.

His account shared a link to a Save The Golliwog page on 20 February. The post was removed later that day.

Mr Smith, who has since deleted his account, said he could not rule out a politically-motivated attack ahead of council elections in two months time.

He said: "I hadn't been in Facebook and when I went (back) on I realised I haven't done that. It was shared by Alan Smith but it wasn't me. The account has been hacked

"I would never put something like that on and as soon as I saw it, I took it down."

'Open to abuse'

He said it was not the first time posts had been shared on his account without his knowledge but he did not elaborate further, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

The golliwog post was shared on his account in the same week he warned of the perils of social media in his other role as a Cockermouth town councillor.

Addressing the town council recently, Mr Smith described social media as "dynamite".

Members voted against plans to raise their social media profile, describing it as a "minefield" best avoided.

Mr Smith told the meeting: "If you want personal Facebook that's fine, but as a group it's dynamite, it can get out of hand and leave us open to abuse.

"I would not go on social media to share a point of view, I do not want to put myself open to abuse."

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