“Pikeys” and “Spanish asylum seekers” - Cambridgeshire PCC candidate and Huntingdonshire District Council leader defends Facebook comments as banter

Jason Ablewhite EMN-160325-092511009
Jason Ablewhite EMN-160325-092511009

The Conservative police and crime commissioner candidate for Cambridgeshire has dismissed accusations of discrimination over private Facebook messages made about “pikeys” and “Spanish asylum seekers” found in an “inflatable grotto lorry.”

Jason Ablewhite, executive leader of Huntingdonshire District Council, said the remarks to friends were just “banter” and that he had no hate for any groups of people.

The messages, made in November 2010 before he was executive leader, were revealed in a story by the Cambridge News. In the article, UKIP’s commissioner candidate Nick Clarke is quoted as saying that Cllr Ablewhite “seems to thinks it is funny to discriminate against sections of our community.”

But Cllr Ablewhite has hit back and said the people he was referring to are work colleagues he has a laugh with.

Apologising for any offence, he added: “I think it’s making a mountain out of a molehill. There’s a big difference between a private bit of banter and the serious job you do as councillors with constituents on a regular basis.”

Dave Baigent (Labour) and Rupert Moss-Eccardt (Liberal Democrat) are also standing to be the crime commissioner.