Banbury election candidate complains over councillor’s ‘disgusting insult’

A prospective councillor has made a formal complaint over a tweet in which a county councillor called him a ‘bell end’.
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Perran Moon, who will stand for Labour on May 2, said the ‘disgusting insult’ used by Conservative Liam Walker has damaged his ‘professional and personal reputation’.

But Mr Walker blamed Mr Moon, who he accused of trolling over another message he posted on Twitter on Saturday night.

Mr Walker posted it had been a ‘pleasure’ to support a charity dinner organised by Cherwell District Council’s chairman Maurice Billington.

Perran MoonPerran Moon
Perran Moon

But early on Sunday morning, Mr Moon sent Mr Walker a message that read: “Rather than self publicity, shouldn’t u be telling us specifically what ‘fantastic local causes’ are being supported by the fundraising? #TypicalTory”.

Later that morning, Mr Walker replied with a bell emoji and another with an arrow pointing to the left with ‘end’ written underneath it. He added ‘#TypicalSocialist’.

In an email sent to Nick Graham, the county council’s monitoring officer, Mr Moon wrote: “I have been a council tax paying resident of North Oxfordshire for 20 years.

“I strongly object to being described publicly on Twitter as a ‘bell end’ by Councillor Walker.

“This is a disgusting insult that no fit and proper councillor should use in private, let alone as a public attack.”

He added it would be ‘inadequate’ to ‘simply remove the offensive tweet’ from Mr Walker’s Twitter page.

“The damage to my professional and personal reputation has already been done,” he added. But Mr Walker said: “If someone, even a Labour candidate, has nothing better do than troll Conservatives on Twitter, my use of emojis are quite spot on in my view.

“His tweet was unnecessary and I’m unsure why he even follows me on Twitter.”

Mr Walker is Conservative county councillor for Hanborough and Minster Lovell. Mr Moon will stand in Banbury Grimsbury and Hightown ward in Cherwell District Council’s local elections.

Mr Graham will decide whether the tweet requires a formal investigation. The issue may be resolved without a hearing ‘to ensure higher standards of conduct in the future’.