Wakefield Labour councillor and former mayor disciplined over string of social media posts

A Labour councillor has been disciplined by his party over a string of recent social media posts.

Tuesday, 30th June 2020, 4:45 pm
Councillor Taylor has represented Featherstone on Wakefield Council since 2010.

Coun Richard Taylor, a former mayor of Featherstone, suggested Premier League players should sport the words "All Lives Matter" instead of "Black Lives Matter" on their shirts.

He also shared a Facebook post suggesting the government was committing "class genocide" with its policy on sending children back to state school at the start of June.

In a third post he shared a picture depicting someone reading a large book, captioned "Understanding Women" is out now in paperback".

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Councillor Taylor said he'd been told by the ruling Labour group on Wakefield Council that the posts were "inappropriate" and he'd been sacked as the deputy chair of the authority's licensing committee.

Labour refused to comment on the case, but Coun Taylor defended his actions.

He said: "I personally can't understand what I've done wrong.

"I don't agree with the way the party's portrayed it to me.

"Everybody has their own way of looking at things but I don't think the punishment matched what I did."

Posts containing the words "All Lives Matter", which surfaced off the back of the Black Lives Matter movement, have been heavily criticised by campaigners, who say the slogan is dismissive of discrimination faced by the black community.

Coun Taylor said he was supportive of the Black Lives Matter campaign, but claimed he was within his rights to write what he did.

Although unhappy with his treatment by the party he added, "I'm still a Labour man. I'm dyed in the wool Labour and I always will be".

In response to a request for comment from Wakefield Council's Labour group, chief whip Coun Richard Forster said: "We’re not able to comment on this but I can tell you that where the group receives complaints, these are taken seriously."

Local Democracy Reporting Service

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