This is a reply from Phil Twiss to an elector who wondered whether Councillor Twiss might have over-reacted somewhat to the (correct) use of the word “cull” by a commentator on the blog of Independent Councillor Claire Wright (bold lettering ours). The letter to which this is a reply is below Councillor Twiss’s response:
The Conservative Party takes all threats of violence or incitement to violence very seriously and will always take appropriate action (no matter how innocuous or isolated/infrequent they may seem to casual observers like yourself) on a better safe than sorry footing. There are no exceptions to this and whilst the problem is more frequent with higher profile politicians (particularly during election periods) it is none the less a problem at all levels. I was election agent for Neil Parish M.P. during the 2010 General election and speak from a position of experience and it is pretty unpleasant.
Following concerns expressed by fellow EDDC Councillors on the precise wording of the comment made on Claire Wrights blog site yesterday as Secretary of the EDDC Conservative Group (a quite distinct role from Party Whip) I asked that it was removed which it was. A complaint was then made to Devon and Cornwall constabulary about the person who submitted the comment and where it was published; this is now subject to police investigation. The police have confirmed that this was the correct course of action to take and if after investigation they conclude there is no problem then that is the end of the matter.
As an illustration of a regrettable and unfortunate aside you may have read that a Councillor was recently attacked in Coventry by three people over a car parking issue, see http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/coventry-city-councillor-attacked-car-8191149 which is also the kind of function EDDC deal with and therefore why this kind of threat is unsettling to our Group members.
I make no apology for this apparently uncompromising position which has absolutely nothing to do with the size of the EDDC Conservative Group.”
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One has to hope that the police are more widely read than Mr Twiss.
Here is the original letter to Mr Twiss
What on earth has made the majority party, (of which you are not the Whip so why are you reacting on their behalf?) so twitchy as to provoke your over-the-top language and threatening behaviour towards Cllr Wright?
I suggest you read the East devon Alliance website where you will see quotations from Messr Cameron, Clegg and Robinson all using the word cull in the sense of reduction in numbers, not as mass murder.
An apology to Cllr Wright for the threat would be in order if you are man enough.”