Somerset

Somerset candidate suspended over anti-immigrant posts

Tweet by Kevin Wendt
Image caption The first half of the tweet from Kevin Wendt

A Somerset election candidate has been suspended from his party after sharing controversial posts on social media.

Kevin Wendt is one of two Conservatives standing in the Wellington North ward district council elections on 2 May.

One post showed white miners "forced to work until they are 70" alongside an apparent refugee family, with the caption "because the government is bringing in people like this".

Mr Wendt had been suspended pending a formal investigation, the party said.

Another post he shared showed an image of a white woman with a hand held across her mouth and a caption saying, "Any Muslim refugee caught molesting women and children should be deported immediately - along with their whole family."

Still on ballot paper

A third post includes an account of the origins of the word golliwog.

Mr Wendt said he was sorry if the posts caused any offence and said he was "saddened" to be suspended.

The Facebook posts, which were made over the past few months, were flagged up to Mr Wendt's local Conservative office by a member of the public, who was critical that someone standing for election had shared such material.

Despite his suspension, it is too late to remove his name from the ballot paper - and some people may have already voted by post.

Other candidates standing in the Wellington North ward are:

  • Andrew Govier (Labour)
  • Mark Lithgow (Liberal Democrat)
  • Michael McGuffie (Labour)
  • John Thorne (Conservative)

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