UPDATE: Rugby councillor kicked out of Conservative Group after ‘racist’ tweet

Cllr Jim Buckley
Cllr Jim Buckley

A Rugby Borough Councillor has been permanently expelled from the Conservative group after posting a ‘racist tweet’.

Cllr Jim Buckley, who represents the Hillmorton Ward on Rugby Borough Council, is said to have tweeted a photo of Sadiq Khan’s political office. Mr Khan, the Labour MP for Tooting, is standing as the party’s candidate to be Mayor of London in 2016.

A screen grab of the tweet

A screen grab of the tweet

The photograph of Mr Khan’s office was accompanied by the words ‘Your next London Mayor? You think his corner shop would be open on a Saturday?’

Mr Khan was born into a British-Pakistani family and worked as a solicitor before becoming an MP.

An Advertiser reader, who wished to remain anonymous, alerted the paper to the tweet and described it as ‘racist’.

The reader said: “Evidently it seems to show a horribly racist view of the Labour candidate for London Mayor, Sadiq Khan.”

Cllr Buckley has now been expelled from the group and Warwickshire Police are said to have launched an investigation.

RBC Conservative Group said: “At a meeting of the Rugby Borough Council Conservative Group which was held on Friday, November 13 the matter of Cllr Buckley’s recently reported tweet was tabled.

“His comments were unacceptable and the decision was taken by a unanimous vote to permanently expel Cllr Jim Buckley from the Conservative group.”

A spokesperson for Warwickshire Police said: “We can confirm we have received reports about a tweet from a man in Warwickshire and we are looking into it. We cannot confirm individual investigations.”

Cllr Buckley told the Advertiser: “I am mortified if I have caused offence or upset to Sadiq or here in Rugby.

“I will continue to work hard to serve the people of Hillmorton.”

Cllr Claire Edwards, Leader of Rugby Labour Group, said: “As an elected representative all councillors have a greater need to be diligent and careful when using social media. The image and comment on this tweet is clearly racist and offensive and as such I urge this councillor to not only apologise for the offence caused but to ensure that he checks tweets before publishing in the future. We are all used to strongly worded political comments on social media, but this goes beyond that. Rugby Borough Council prides itself as an Equalities Champion in local government and this puts that at risk.”