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No action over Tory blog post: Shoebury seawall campaigner had lodged complaint against Tony Cox
A SENIOR Tory won’t face an investigation over his blog after agreeing to take down “offensive” comments.
Tony Cox, Southend councillor responsible for public protection, waste and transport, will face no further action after agreeing to change the name of a blog post.
The post was about Peter Lovett, of the Friends of Shoebury Common, entitled Bare Faced Liars and agreed to stop referring to the anti-seawall campaigner as “Dear Leader” – a term used for ruthless North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
Mr Cox, a Shoebury councillor who has backed controversial plans for the 7ft embankment across Shoebury Common, said: “It was a malicious claim.
“It has proved they are quick to hurl abuse and insults, but when something is given back they don’t like it.
“I used the term ‘Dear Leader’ as a tongue in cheek reference. If he is too lily-livered to accept it, I won’t call him it, but I don’t take back what I said.”
Mr Lovett, 67, of Leitrim Avenue, Shoebury, lodged a complaint with Southend Council against Mr Cox, who is a contender to replace Nigel Holdcroft as Tory leader in May, after seeing the blog.
He also voiced concerns over Mr Cox calling him a “bared faced liar” in several blog posts covering disagreements the pair had about a public meeting in December, although he made no official complaint.
Mr Cox has sinced changed the title of his blog posts from Bare Faced Liars to Correcting Inaccuracies.
After reviewing the complaint, John Williams, the council’s monitoring officer, said he did not condone Mr Cox making the personal comments, but defended the councillor’s right to freedom of speech.
Mr Lovett is now considering further action.
He said: “I think it is a very sad day for Southend, when the code of ethics and conduct for council employees and elected councillors, falls very short of the codes imposed by my mother.”
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