Friday, 19 August 2011
A Tory councillor has been suspended from his party after calling rioters ’jungle bunnies’ on Facebook.

Bob Frost, a councillor on Dover District Council in Kent, made the comments on August 7 as riots and looting spread throughout London.

The 49-year-old, who is also a maths teacher at the Sir Roger Manwood’s grammar foundation school in Sandwich, amended his comments after being called up by colleagues telling him he was being racist.

Mr Frost wrote on August 10 - three days after writing ’jungle bunnies’ on his Facebook wall - that he had been phoned up and accused of racism.

He posted: “I have just had a phone call that accused me of racism for my above posting.
“Looking at the dictionary it would appear that the term jungle bunnies is pejorative and is a racist slur relating to African-Americans. Needless to say I did not mean to use any offensive racist term and was referring to the urban jungle.”

He added: “As for the bunny bit it was originally ’animals’, but I thought people might object to me calling fellow humans this so I chose something I thought was innocent and also cuddly.”

The councillor then removed this post after another call from a fellow Tory and he has this week been suspended from the Conservative Party while an investigation into his conduct takes place.

A panel of district council members will meet to discuss Councillor Frost’s comments before deciding on further action later this month.

Speaking this week to the Dover Express newspaper, Mr Frost apologised ’unreservedly’ for his comments. He said: “What I said was wrong and I apologise unreservedly. I am mortified by the offence that I have caused and have deleted these comments - I am very sorry.”

Sue Chandler, deputy leader of the Tory-run council, said: “There is no place in our society for this kind of language. We have therefore suspended Mr Frost from the Conservative Group pending an investigation.”

In a previous Facebook posting from the councillor he had a go at single mums - saying he was paying for their lifestyle.

He wrote: “You might ask how all the single mothers congregating with their push-chaired spawn are able to afford both their beer and their tattoos - I have a horrible idea I am paying for both.”

Facebook’s part in the riots became a controversial issue after two men were jailed at Chester Crown Court earlier this week for inciting violence on the social media site after unsuccessfully calling for riots in their hometowns in Cheshire. Separately, a teenager was banned from Facebook for 12 months and ordered to carry out community service after writing “come on rioters”.
Source: The Times (£)


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