Councillor Mark Cherry suspended from Labour Party after Holocaust Twitter row

Banbury Labour councillor Mark Cherry
Banbury Labour councillor Mark Cherry

The South East Regional Labour Party has today confirmed it has suspended Banbury Labour councillor Mark Cherry after a Tweet comparing a Nazi concentration camp to Conservative policies on the unemployed and disabled was posted via his account.

A statement issued by Labour Party spokesperson Danielle Glavin today (Thursday) said: “Mark Cherry has been suspended from the Labour Party pending an investigation.”

Cllr Cherry, who sits on Banbury town, Cherwell district and Oxfordshire county councils, protested his innocence after a picture comparing a Nazi concentration camp to Conservative party policies for the unemployed and disabled was sent from his Twitter account on Sunday, claiming his account had been hacked.

The tweet sent to 291 followers prompted Banbury MP Sir Tony Baldry to write to Labour leader Ed Miliband to condemn a message which ‘trivialised the Holocaust’.

But Cllr Cherry has since reported the matter to both Twitter and the police and has taken down his Twitter account, calling for an investigation into the reason his account was hacked.

Speaking to the Banbury Guardian today (Thursday) Cllr Cherry pledged to continue as an Independent councillor despite his current suspension from the party and said he will continue to walk into the council chambers with his ‘head held high’ and prove his case in a court of law if necessary.

Also today (Thursday) Mr Baldry posted a letter on his website confirming he has written to Thames Valley Police asking them to carry out a ‘full and thorough forensic investigation’ of Cllr Cherry’s complaint.

Mr Baldry said: “I think many reasonable objective observers – even those who are technology impaired such as myself - would find it difficult to understand how it is credible for a Twitter account to be hacked during a period of time when a person was actually actively using their Twitter account without them realising or noticing their account had been hacked.”

Cllr Cherry said this is the second time his Twitter account has been hacked,

- For more background on the story see this week’s edition of the Banbury Guardian -out today.