A Labour councillor has said he will report a former Yorkshire mayor to the police for liking “racist” tweets.
George McManus said tweets sent and ‘liked’ by Heather Venter would “cause racial and religious hatred” and that they were “designed to cause offence”.
The Yorkshire Post included screenshots of the offending tweets the 2013 to 2014 mayor of Driffield had ‘liked’.
One tweet the Tory councillor ‘liked’ said: “Shouldn’t employ Muslims. Nothing but trouble.”
Another read “Sadly, looks like Romania’s Gypsy beggar/pickpockets will b [sic] soon replaced by African Muslims.”
Ms. Venter tweeted a link to an Evening Standard article which reported the Metropolitan Police were called to 9,000 knife crimes in just one year. The Yorkshire Post highlighted that she had ‘liked’ a reply to her tweet which attributed the record figure to “the blacks in London”.
The newspaper noted that Councillor Venter has been housebound since her serious illness, and described Twitter as her “lifeline”.
She told the paper: “It beggars belief I have 59,800 likes – doesn’t it make you think it is a concerted effort to get at me?”
One offending tweet made by Ms. Venter was linking to an article entitled: “White South Africans march in London against white genocide”.
The Tory councillor said: “I lived in South Africa. There was a protest, a march in London, about white genocide, because farmers are getting murdered every week.”
Ms. Venter lived in the country for several years with her South African husband, and moved back to the UK in 1998.
Human rights monitor Genocide Watch deems South Africa to be in “Stage 6: Preparation” on its eight stages of genocide timeline. Dr. Gregory Stanton, who authored the UN report on the Rwandan genocide, said that “early warnings of genocide are still deep in South African society”.
George McManus, of the Beverley and Holderness Labour Party, said the tweets ‘liked’ by Councillor Venter were “designed to cause offence”.
He added: “There’s no room for remarks like these in a civilised society. I am particularly concerned that this person occupies a position of authority as a councillor and that this impacts badly on the reputation of the good people of Driffield. They are in my opinion designed to cause offence and to cause racial and religious hatred.
“I intend to ask Humberside Police to consider whether or not they constitute an offence under section 127(1) of the 2003 Communications Act.”
Ms. Venter has denied the allegation and said: “I can’t understand it because I’m not racist.”
The Yorkshire Post reported that “the controversy comes after a website accused the councillor of racism for her Twitter activity”.
The website in question was Indymedia, a noticeboard for far left activists. The article on Ms. Venter alleges the councillor is a “committed neo-Nazi” and an “openly white supremacist”.
To support these claims the site highlighted a number of tweets authored by and ‘liked’ by Ms. Ventor, some of which The Yorkshire Post published, using Indymedia’s screenshots.
It features a tweet ‘liked’ by the former mayor which said: “there are many things the EDL [anti-Islamisation campaigners English Defence League] are right about”.
In one of the tweets shown on the site, the former mayor says it is “ridiculous” that Muslims in Britain ignore UK laws in favour of sharia. The far left website calls this belief “offensive”. The piece also encourages readers to get Ms. Venter dismissed from her various posts.