Tory councillor cleared over ‘retard’ tweet

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A SENIOR councillor who was banned from carrying out his duties after calling protesters “retards” on Twitter has won an appeal against his suspension.

John Fareham, Conservative group leader at Hull Council and a former Lord Mayor of Hull, was hit with a 20-week suspension after complaints about comments he made through his Twitter account.

His “tweet” during a stormy council meeting last year read: “15 hours in Council today very hard hitting day and the usual collection of retards in the public gallery spoiling it for real people.”

The council launched an investigation following two complaints and a committee decided in January that he had breached the council’s code of conduct.

Coun Fareham sought leave to appeal, which was granted, allowing him to resume his duties pending the outcome.

An independent tribunal has now cleared Coun Fareham of any wrongdoing by finding that he was not acting in his official capacity when he made the comments. But it called his comments “gratuitous” and said they “could reasonably have been foreseen to cause offence”.

Coun Fareham was not available for comment.