Police Probe Councillor's Jibe
at English Democrats
Julian Ware-Lane Robin Tilbrook
Right-wing party complains about Labour councillor's pre-election web postings
A new Labour Southend councillor is facing a police investigation over his online pre-election comments.
Police have confirmed they are investigating remarks made by Julian Ware-Lane during his successful campaign to win a seat in Milton ward.
Robin Tilbrook, national chairman of the English Democrats, complained about comments in Mr Ware-Lane's internet blog, comparing the party to wartime traitors.
Mr Ware-Lane wrote: "There is nothing patriotic about the jackboot politics of the far right.
"Never forget, while Labour party members were fighting the forces of far right extremism during the Second World War, the precursors of parties like the British National Party, the National Front and the English Democrats spent the war imprisoned as traitors."
Mr Ware-Lane won his seat last Thursday, polling 675 votes, 68 more than sitting Tory councillor Nigel Folkard.
English Democrat candidate Spencer Haggar, polled just 122 votes - the fewest of any of the five candidates. However, Mr Tilbrook complained to police ahead of the poll, and maintains Mr Ware-Lane's comments may have cost his party vital support.
He said: "It was a deliberate smear. I appreciate there will always be a confrontational aspect to elections, but this went too far.
"It was a disgusting comparison to make and I want the police to investigate it fully."
If Mr Ware-Lane were to be found to have misled the public during his election campaign, he could be forced to give up his seat.
In 2010, Labour MP Phil Woolas lost his Westminster seat after two High Court judges ruled he had tried to stir up religious tensions to damage a LibDem election rival.
The ruling was the first such in 99 years, and some pundits warned it could have far-reaching consequences for future elections.
Mr Ware-Lane still mantains he has done nothing wrong.
He said: "The English Democrats in Southend have largely been taken over by ex-members of the BNP. That is shown by the public record. I will wait to see if I hear from the police."
Six of the ten English Democrats who stood in the May 3 elections have previously stood in Southend for the BNP.
Reference: The Southend Echo printed version.
Julian Ware-Lane's own party accepts ex-BNP members. Labour even have an ex-BNP councillor.