Southend: Councillor apologises for expletive-ridden Galloway tweet – BBC


A local councillor has apologised after sending an expletive-ridden tweet to former politician George Galloway.
Matt Dent, a Labour councillor on Southend Borough Council, posted a now-deleted derogatory rhyme about the former Respect party member.
Mr Galloway responded, saying it was "breath-taking" that a councillor could post such a message on social media.
Mr Dent told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): "It was a big mistake on my part."
Last week, the Labour-led administration accused the Conservative group of lacking standards in public office.
The councillor has now come under fire from opposition leaders for "double standards".
Tony Cox, leader of the Conservative group, said: "You couldn't make it up.
"They go on about standards but we have the deputy leader calling people small-minded Nimbys and saying he doesn't care about the leisure and hospitality industry and now this.
"This administration does have standards, double standards."
In a subsequent tweet, Mr Dent said: "Earlier today I tweeted a disparaging comment about @georgegalloway.
"Whilst I'm no fan of his politics, my language was inappropriate and fell below the standards expected of a Southend councillor. I've deleted the tweet, and apologise to Mr Galloway and anyone offended."
He told the LDRS: "It was a big mistake on my part and I stand by my apology.
"It wasn't appropriate language for a councillor to be using. I accept that and apologise to anyone I may have offended.
"I will be reassessing my use of social media as it's easy to get caught up in some aspects of it."
When Mr Dent was asked if his tweet was a case of double standards, he said he will "face the consequences" if someone complains.
He said: "I don't think it is. I've put my hands up. I made a mistake and got this one absolutely wrong. I'm not defending it or trying to make excuses.
"I have issues with George Galloway's corrosive politics but I expressed it in an inappropriate way."
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