English Democrat candidate slams Labour councillor over social media comments

Politics / Tue 21st Apr 2015 at 06:12am

THE CANDIDATE for the English Democrat Party has “questioned the integrity’ of a leading Harlow Labour councillor.

Eddy Butler has picked up on comments made by deputy leader of Harlow Council, cllr Tony Durcan.

Mr Butler said: “Elected councillors are expected to adhere to a Code of Conduct which is consistent with the ‘Nolan Principles’.

Amongst other things the Harlow Code of Conduct states:

1.(2) It is the individual’s responsibility to comply with the provisions of this Code.

Two of the ‘Nolan Principles’ are:


Not to place themselves in situations where their integrity may be questioned, should not behave improperly and should on all occasions avoid the appearance of such behaviour.


Not to place themselves in situations where their honesty may be questioned, should not behave improperly and should, on all occasions, avoid the appearance of such behaviour.

“In his comments attached to this newspaper story, Tony Durcan the Labour Deputy Leader of Harlow Council publicly made two false statements, neither of which has he corrected despite them being pointed out to him:

English Democrat candidate thanks UKIP for signing nomination

Both of these statements were aimed at disparaging candidates standing in this year’s elections in Harlow.

Firstly, which respect to me (Eddy Butler, the English Democrats Parliamentary candidate for Harlow), he said:
‘he did state Harlow was kidnapping nurses to work in the NHS’.

A recording of what I said can be found here (around 21 minutes in):

Candidates clash in passionate General Elections hustings in Harlow

“I said three times that the NHS was effectively stealing doctors and nurses from worse off countries to work here. I did not make the ludicrous claim that doctors or nurses were being kidnapped.

“This has been pointed out to Tony Durcan but he has not issued a retraction.
On his twitter feed

Tony Durcan retweeted this same claim:
‘Hustings: English Democratic candidate Eddie Butler says “We’re kidnapping nurses from overseas to work in the NHS” pic.twitter.com/pqdirVNMwy’

In original tweet can be found here:

Secondly Tony Durcan stated:

‘He clearly has no confidence in winning as he has decided to stand as a local councillor.

So by some miracle if he did become the MP would he then waste tax payers money by having to resign and force a by election.’

“This was a reference to UKIP’s Parliamentary candidate for Harlow, Sam Stopplecamp, who is also standing for Great Parndon Ward for Harlow Council.

There is no requirement for an MP to resign his council seat or vice versa. It is perfectly legitimate to be both a councillor and an MP. There is no legal impediment to holding both seats.

“Tony Durcan publicly spread a falsehood in claiming that if elected to both seats, Mr Stopplecamp would waste tax payers money by being forced to resign and there being a by election.

“This was pointed out to Tony Durcan but he has not made a retraction.

“This claim is all the stranger because Tony Durcan is both a Harlow Councillor and an Essex County Councillor.

“As an elective representative Tony Durcan’s false comments are in contravention of two of the Nolan Principles.

“Accordingly he has fallen short of the standards expected of elected representatives according to the provisions contained in the Code of Conduct issued by both Harlow Council and Essex County Council.

“As Tony Durcan has acted in breach of the Code of Conduct he should issue an immediate retraction or the matter will have to be reported for action.

Cllr Durcan has responded. he said: “Oh please, if you really feel this is going to stop me discussing issues on social media then your going to be disappointed.

“Harlow is a collective community were we believe in freedom of speech and long will it remain.

“So report me if you want. Silence isn’t an option.”

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1 Comment for English Democrat candidate slams Labour councillor over social media comments:

2015-04-22 16:06:07

It is the similar parts of the code of conduct which question the actions of Cllr.Forman for being photographed with a sign saying "Travellers welcome here" over the illegal encampments around the town. As well as Cllr.Stevens, Cllr.Clark and Cllr.Forman being photographed with a Stand Up to UKIP banner claiming UKIP is racist and bigoted - which we ARE NOT, and is a nasty attack, not to mention a slur on UKIP Councillors, members and supporters. Hopefully they will be punished at the ballot box!

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