It has been confirmed that following a complaint by NAGTRW in regard to comments including the use of the word ‘Pikey’ by Tory PCC Candidate Jason Ablewhite – that the complaint has been passed to the Party’s disciplinary Committee for consideration.
The complaint sent today to Conservative Party Chairman Lord Feldman of Elstree read as follows;
Dear Lord Feldman,
Re Conservative PCC Candidate for Cambridge Jason Ablewhite.
We are writing to you in relation to the conduct of the above named Conservative candidate for the role of Police and Crime Commissioner.
During 2010 this man made comment of Facebook together with other Conservative local Councillors – Tom Sanderson, & Ryan Fuller.
While engaging in what Councillor Ablewhite has since called ‘banter’. The three men were making commentary about a couple that appeared in a picture wearing ‘high viz vests’. Councillor Sanderson says ;
‘ Someone give these two some tarmac to lay’
To which Councillor Ablewhite replies –
“Pikey’s caught on camera!!”
Ryan Fuller who we understand is also a Conservative Councillor for Huntingdon District Council adds to the commentary;
“Tarmac your drive Guv? All in aid of the Christmas lights of course”
The three then go on to make inappropriate comment about Spanish Refugee’s
Mr Ablewhite is quoted by local press to have said –
“My group of district councillors, we have a bit of banter with each other,” said Cllr Ablewhite.
“I apologise if it caused any offence, but it was private at the time.
“If it’s just private friends having a laugh, it’s no different to if you’re just down the pub doing the same.”
National Alliance of Gypsy Traveller & Roma Women, feel that this commentary is not acceptable when it comes from those involved in public life, we do not feel that the time elapsed since these comments were made is relevant.
It should be noted that this was posted on Facebook, and the internet is very much a public space, regardless of whether or not this group had expectations that these comments would become widely known is also not relevant as Mr Ablewhite was posting as Councillor Ablewhite, and as such he is speaking in his role of a Conservative Local Councillor.
From his comments to local press it is abundantly clear that Mr Ablewhite fails to recognise why this is unacceptable, and it’s worrying indeed some 6 years on he draws comparison and justifies his comments as ‘no different if you’re just down the pub doing the same’
We would urge the Conservative party to exercise the same outrage to Mr Ablewhite’s comments as that has recently been demonstrated in regard to those made by Mr Livingston’s.
It is impossible in light of Mr Ablewhite’s comments to see how a person holding these views and feeling it perfectly alright to express them and use a word like ‘Pikey” to possibly hold any public office let alone that of Police and Crime Commissioner.
Please look to your in house Equalities Policies and also UK & EU Legislation and suspend Mr Ablewhite as a candidate for PCC.
We would like to add that like the Jewish community Gypsies were also victims of the Holocaust, tens of thousands were murdered, and yet we have no representation on UK’s Holocaust Commission, despite repeated request for reasons outlining why this is the case.
We would be grateful for a timely response to this request.
National Alliance of Gypsy Traveller & Roma Women