IRA bomb joke councillor escapes punishment

Coun Florence Anderson
Coun Florence Anderson
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A LABOUR councillor has avoided punishment from the council after she “liked” a comment on Facebook that called for the IRA to bomb a Conservative conference.

Sunderland City Councillor Florence Anderson has escaped investigation by the council’s standards committee after it was deemed she had been acting in a private capacity.

The committee did state that what she had done could cause offence and that behaviour like that could reflect badly on the council.

Coun Anderson said: “I regret not having the opportunity to make a personal representation to the standards committee.

“I attempted to self-refer my case to the committee but was unable to do so because there is no provision for self-referral.”

At the time, her actions were branded as “disgraceful” by party bosses, after she “liked” the comment: “We are appealing to the IRA to find it in their hearts to bomb the next Tory conference” on Facebook.

She was also a member of a group on the social networking site called “Margaret Thatcher doesn’t have to be dead before we give her a funeral”.

After the incident, Coun Anderson was suspended from the Labour party with immediate effect.

A Labour North spokesman said: “Florence Anderson remains suspended from The Labour Party pending an internal party investigation into her conduct in this matter.”

The Hetton ward representative was born in Shiney Row and became the council’s first woman deputy leader in May 2008.

A spokesman from Sunderland City Council said: “The sub-committee considered that the member was acting in her private capacity and therefore the conduct complained of fell outside the terms of the Code of Conduct and it had no jurisdiction to refer the matter for investigation.

“However, the sub-committee recognised that the conduct complained about was capable of causing offence and that private acts can reflect badly on the council.”