Tory suspended over ‘disgusting’ racist, homophobic and sexist comments

Glenn Tingle

A local Conservative Party has suspended a parish councillor over racist, sexist and homophobic comments on a public social media account.

Glenn Tingle, vice-chairman at Old Catton Parish Council in Norfolk, was due to stand for a second seat in Sprowston Town Council’s South East Ward by-election this Thursday (21 October). He was also the chair of the Sprowston and Old Catton Conservative branch.

He has been reprimanded over a public “Cllr Glenn Tingle” Facebook account which featured posts claiming that all women have mental health problems and cannot drive. 

One included a joke about condoms going past a gay bar, while another called for England’s Black footballers to “get on one knee and beg the nation for forgiveness” after missing penalties at the Euro final.

The comments were branded “simply disgusting” by Labour Broadland district councillor Natasha Harpley, according to the Eastern Daily Press.

“It’s really offensive – some of the things he has posted go against laws the conservatives promote around mental health and stigma.” 

Tingle, who once ran as a UKIP candidate, previously stated he “did not care” what people thought of the comments. However, he has since removed his posts and apologised.

Tory councillor defends himself by saying he has gay and Black friends

After the posts were flagged by the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), the Norwich Conservative Federation held an emergency meeting on Monday (18 October). They unanimously decided to suspend him with immediate effect.

The same day, Tingle told the LDRS that people may have found his posts in “bad taste” and apologised. He stated he did not “have beef” with the footballers.

He added that his wife was Chinese and that he had gay and Black friends, so he could not be racist.

Tingle’s suspension means “he will not be able to represent the Conservative Party going forward, or attend any function organised by the Conservative Party,” said Simon Jones, chairman of the federation.

He added: “The executive has also stated ‘they find the views expressed unacceptable and will not tolerate them from members of the Norwich Conservative Party’.”

Unfortunately, Tingle’s name will still appear as a Conservative candidate on the ballot paper on Thursday as it is now too late to withdraw him.

Jones stated that asking the council to reprint the ballots would be inappropriate due to the costs to the taxpayer.

Kenneth Lashley for Labour, and Shayne Stork, who is not listed as having a party affiliation, will also stand in the upcoming by-election.