Deselected Peterborough councillor in angry rant at party chief on council-run Facebook page

A deselected Conservative councillor vented his anger at his own party chief by ranting against him on a council-run Facebook page.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 14th March 2019, 11:00 am
Updated Thursday, 14th March 2019, 11:56 am
Dave King
Dave King

Dave King, member for Hampton Vale on Peterborough City Council, posted a series of ‘unacceptable’ comments against Cllr Peter Hiller underneath live Facebook videos of the authority’s Full Council meeting last Wednesday.

Comments made during the meeting included referencing a past conviction Cllr Hiller received in 2013 for ‘keying’ a car and using an asterisked word which alluded to a vulgar insult about his colleague.

Cllr Hiller is chair of the North West Cambridgeshire Conservative Association which has deselected Cllr King ahead of May’s local elections, where he was due to defend the seat he won in 2016.

Peter Hiller

The live streams of last week’s council meeting have so far been viewed by 2,700 and 2,300 people respectively on the public Facebook page. The comments remained under both videos this morning (Thursday, March 14).

Cllr King was not present at the Full Council meeting, which included voting on the authority’s budget. He has yet to respond to requests for comment from the Peterborough Telegraph.

Council leader Cllr John Holdich, who is also a Conservative member in the North West Cambridgeshire constituency, said Cllr King had had a few personal problems, but added: “His comments were not acceptable. It’s regrettable he has reacted in that way.

“He is acting out of character. He is a nice guy, a personable guy and a sociable guy and always did his best on the council.”

Aside from criticising Cllr Hiller, Cllr King’s comments included:

. “The sad thing is all of these old gits think they making any difference at all,”

. “It’s all about the time. Everyone wants to go home as they are all old. What a joke. Is this how we all move the city forward, they are all too old but take the money.”

. “My fellow Hampton Vale councillor. What a joke.”

. “I’ve been watching this and the Micheal Jackson programme. In the end Micheal Jackson children knew they were getting messed about with unlike every voter in PETERBOROUGH.”

Channel 4 screened a documentary alleging deceased pop star Michael Jackson had committed child sex abuse on the same evening as the meeting.

A council spokesman said on Monday the authority had received no complaints about Cllr King’s comments.

At the time the comments were made there were no formal rules for councillors about social media comments - only guidance - but on Monday the council’s Constitution & Ethics Committee endorsed a more formal code which has been issued to councillors.

Cllr Hiller, member for Castor and Glinton, and cabinet member for growth, planning, housing and economic development, said: “I don’t follow Cllr King on Facebook I’m afraid and have nothing to say about his criticism for his fellow ward councillors or the council generally.”