Calls for councillor to resign

Coun Florence Anderson
Coun Florence Anderson
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A QUESTION mark today hangs over the future of a Wearside councillor after an IRA Facebook controversy.

As reported in the Echo, Hetton councillor Florence Anderson sparked outrage after “liking” a comment calling for the IRA to bomb a Conservative party conference.

Coun Anderson had already landed herself in hot water in 2010 after saying she hoped Margaret Thatcher would “burn in hell” on the social networking site.

Now opposition councillors have questioned if the former deputy council leader can remain a member of Sunderland City Council.

Sunderland Conservatives leader Robert Oliver called on Coun Anderson to resign.

“I think she should go,” he said. “This is by far the worst thing I have heard in my seven years on the council – on any council.

“If she doesn’t, it’s sending a message that people can say whatever they want and not face the consequences.”

Coun Oliver said Coun Anderson was entitled to have the matter investigated, but if the evidence was proved, she should stand down.

Sunderland independent group leader Councillor Colin Wakefield said: “What a stupid thing to do. The IRA killed about 500 British soldiers.

“I don’t think people who have lost loved ones in IRA bombings will be particularly enamoured with her remarks.

“I can’t see her coming back from this one. Rather than waiting until she’s pushed, I think she should consider her position really.”

Coun Wakefield said Coun Anderson was held in regard by some, but this was her second online gaffe. He described Facebook as a “dangerous tool”.

Lib Dem councillor Paul Dixon agreed Coun Anderson should consider stepping down.

He added: “I think councillors should have more thought about what they’re doing.”

Coun Anderson has been suspended from the Labour party after the online incident.

Sunderland City Council said no complaints had yet been received about Coun Anderson, which would spark a referral to the authority’s Standards Committee.

The “like” on Facebook appears to date from 2010 .

l Internet question result – Page 8