Meeting cancelled after chairman accused of making Islamophobic comments on Facebook

A county-wide health meeting has been cancelled after a councillor accused of making racist comments was made its chairman with a GBP23,000 allowance. Councillor Steve Vickers, who represents Retford East on Nottinghamshire County Council, was suspended from the Conservative Party in March. A post made from Mr Vickers' social media account appeared to respond to the 2016 Nice terror attack, and claimed that London Major Sadiq Khan 'and his brethren' were 'part of the problem'.

The post adds: 'hunt them all down'. Eighty-seven people including terrorist Mohamed Bouhlel were killed and more than 400 injured when he ran his truck in to crowds of people on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. Nottinghamshire County Council leader Councillor Kay Cutts said Cllr Vickers was not a racist but had made comments "in the heat of the moment."

She added that he had made a private apology which had been accepted and he returned to the party.

Eighty-seven people died and more than 400 were injured

The Conservative-controlled council announced on June 11 it was making Cllr Vickers chairman of the Health and Wellbeing board, which brings together experts from health bodies and public health from across Nottinghamshire. But the appointment has proved controversial, with Ashfield District Council and Broxtowe Borough Council announcing they would boycott the meetings while he remained in position. A health board meeting had been due to take place virtually on Wednesday, July 1 but it has been cancelled.

The next meeting is not scheduled to take place until September. It last met on March 4.

Read More
Related Articles
Read More
Related Articles

Councillor Alan Rhodes is the leader of the Labour group, and represents Worksop North. He said: "We're in the middle of the biggest health crisis in living memory in this country, thousands upon thousands of people have died.

"To think that the Health and Wellbeing board - a body which includes the health communities and local authorities - is not going to meet during this period, particularly when they have an opportunity to review what's happened and share their wealth of experiences is frankly ridiculous. "I think it's irresponsible of the county council to cancel the committee. "I suspect that it is the furore of the appointment of Councillor Vickers.

I think it's shameful that this decision has been taken."

Steve Vickers

Nottinghamshire County Council and the Conservative Party have been approached for comment. At the time the Facebook comments were made public - by campaign group Hope Not Hate - a spokesman for the Conservative Party said: "All those found to be party members have been suspended immediately, pending investigation. "The swift action we take on not just anti-Muslim discrimination, but discrimination of any kind is testament to the seriousness with which we take such issues."

The comments, made a day after the terror attack, said: "The atrocities in Nice. I saw a post this afternoon about lighting candles and holding hands! "Hunt them all down.

Enough of all the political correctness and make Europe a safe place again. "Sadiq Khan has asked questions about increased security in London. Has he now!

"He and his brethren are part of the problem. "The Muslim leaders in every mosque in the country should be denouncing terrorist attacks every day in their local papers, in their establishments and on TV and radio. "It is them who are now culpable for these attacks by their silence."

When he was made chairman, Councillor Vickers said: "I truly apologise and hope I have not caused offence to too many people with this.

"I will be adding to this statement later next month, and it will be quite a comprehensive response."

You may also like...