Councillor’s email sparks huge reaction

Roger Taylor
Roger Taylor

A huge row has erupted over comments sent in an email by a councillor to a civil liberties group.

Councillor Roger Taylor (Con, Northowram/Shelf) emailed campaign group JUST West Yorkshire which promotes racial justice, civil liberties and human rights.

JUST said the offending email followed the organisation’s support for the Hillsborough families’ call for the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, Norman Bettison, to resign and face criminal prosecution.

The email content includes: “So, is your ultra-left organisation claiming the police actually pushed into the terraces and suffocated the victims? Are you telling me this report is not overloaded with politically correct language rather like the Stephen Lawrence “enquiry” (a joke in itself) was?

“You are not fit to tie Sir Norman Bettison’s shoe laces.”

Emails received by Just since August 2011 from Coun Taylor are also alleged to include: “Most acts of terrorism are committed by Muslims.”

“We now the vast number of vile and hatred riddles rioters were black or non-white.”

“As racist and Anti-American Muslims once again rail against the west with their vile language of death to infidels you choose to ignore that and concentrate on Sir Norman.”

JUST director Ratna Lachman said Coun Taylor’s emails were getting bolder and his were not fitting for someone in public office.

Councillor Taylor told the Courier he had been receiving regular email statements from JUST and he had replied privately with no third-party involved.

“It was a private email and JUST went public with it,” he said.

Halifax MP Linda Riordan said: “The tone and nature of the comments are utterly despicable. It is clear he is not fit to hold elected office.”

Labour Group leader Coun Tim Swift said: “Coun Taylor’s comments about the the Hillsborough report are unacceptable. Many of his other reported comments are equally unpleasant.”

Tory leader Coun Stephen Baines said he had spoken to the council’s legal officers. “It was a private email. As far as the council is concerned he has not breached standards,” he said.