Tory councillor James Leppard has suspension lifted following investigation

News / Sat 15th Jun 2024 at 06:20am

COUNCILLOR James Leppard has been returned to the Conservative group on Harlow Council as his suspension is lifted following a thorough independent investigation into the allegations made against him.

The independent investigating panel was appointed by the national Conservative Campaign Headquarters. The final report made clear that the comments highlighted in the allegations were taken out of context. 

Given the allegations and sensitivities of the matter, the panel recommended that Cllr Leppard attend training on Equality and Diversity and Social Media, which Cllr Leppard has accepted. 

The findings of the independent panel are final and the case has now been closed. 

Cllr Leppard has apologised for any upset or concern that was caused by the comments made several years ago before he was a councillor on a thread about islamic extremism. The comments he made were regarding islamic extremism following a terrorist attack in Vienna. 

A Harlow Conservatives spokesperson said: “We take any accusations of racism extremely seriously and as soon as these allegations were made, Cllr Leppard was suspended and an independent investigation was launched. 

“The investigation has taken a number of weeks as it has been conducted independently of the Harlow Conservatives. However, the investigation has now concluded, the findings have been accepted in full and the matter has been closed.

“Cllr Leppard has apologised for any upset or concern that was caused by the comments and in line with the findings of the report, the suspension has been lifted. This matter is now closed and our undivided attention is on delivering on the promises every single one of the Harlow Conservatives councillors were elected on in the local elections.”

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20 Comments for Tory councillor James Leppard has suspension lifted following investigation:

2024-06-15 07:10:09

What a steaming pile of bullsh**, it was an inevitable outcome as the council would have been NOC rather than conservative.

David Forman
2024-06-15 10:23:54

The outcome is reasonable and justified. On 24 April in an email exchange with James Leppard he told me: "I have found the post on FB and it is clear to me that it has been selectively edited. The whole post was in the context of the Vienna attacks back in 2020 and was specifically regarding terrorist/extremist attacks. It was in no way an attack on Muslims per se." I believed what councillor Leppard said on 24 April and I still believe it now.

David Forman
2024-06-15 10:26:37

For the record, here is what I said back on 22 April on a YourHarlow news story: "Let's see what the investigation reveals. Incidentally, I've had a number of conversations with councillor Leppard which included the subject of immigration and he hasn't displayed any Islamaphobic attitudes or made racist comments to me."

Tom Compton
2024-06-15 12:18:06

I am a Labour supporter and have never voted Conservative, however, this whole situation is worrying in terms of a very proactive councillor being falsely accused of something, but because the accusers post the accusation on line, people believe it without any research or fully understanding the context. All of this happened at a time when Councilor Leppard's mother passed away. These sad accusers who make false allegations are despicable keyboard cowards looking to score political points regardless of the impact upon people's lives and their loved ones. I hope they apologise for what they put Councillor Leppard through at a particularly challenging time for him personally. Hopefully, this is a wake up for many who automatically believe statements because "I saw it on Facebook". Where is the integrity and intellect. Sad reflection on those who do not do their own due diligence. Welcome back to Harlow Council. I do hope that the Labour Councillors welcome you back. You are a Harlow Councillor who works hard for the people of Harlow, regardless of your political side. I am a Labour supporter, but know you have tried to help Harlow, so political allegiance is irrelevant if you keep doing it for Harlow.

Gary Roberts
2024-06-15 13:50:21

Mr Compton, please outline Cllr Leppard's proactive work in Potter Street? Hardworking? Do me a favour!

Mark Gough
2024-06-15 14:30:47

The selective editing is exactly how these Hope Not Hate people operate. It is also how 12 Reform UK Candidates were de-selected. Don't forget John Swinney was sacked by Panorama for working with them and there illegal practices. Of course he's now a Lib.Dem Candidate. It's time they faced some kind of investigation themselves. James and I have our debates, but I'm glad the right result was reached. Mark Gough - Harlow UKIP

Mark Gough
2024-06-15 14:35:11

Sadly Tom, HnH put pictures of innocent people's houses online to be attacked, and absolutely no repercussions came their way. The House had 3 young children and had bricks continually thrown through their windows. They had no involvement in Politics or Campaigning for or against anything or anyone. They didn't even receive an apology from HnH.

2024-06-15 22:39:16

Just so folk know. James said "Not one Islamic country is a functioning, liberal democracy. They are mostly third world and authoritarian regimes, backward and primitive. We don't need them here" in response to someone else saying that it wasn't good to tar all Muslims with the same brush as 99% were law abiding. On another post, he told someone else who called voting a Muslim for mayor imbeciles, as "well said as always" as well as Muslims "being given a very wide berth and not allow any to come here". To be honest, I am amazed with this outcome and I would love to see how this could possibly be out of context.

Mike Scott
2024-06-15 23:18:35

Trace, since you raised the point, please provide a list of the predominantly Muslim countries that are not third world and are functioning democracies. Be interesting to see your reply and also your sources.

2024-06-16 00:10:11

Maybe now we should conduct a full investigation into the left wing local councillors and Hope not Hate as that sinister organisation has damaged others reputations.

2024-06-16 08:27:33

Mike, if you cannot see that his comments are not acceptable, esp about the London Mayor then you are part of the problem.

2024-06-16 09:09:03

Why would anyone listen to hope not hate they are an extreme left wing lunatic group.

Jamal Singh
2024-06-16 11:48:38

Trace - what he said is true . Facts are facts . Please let us know which Islamic countries are functioning democracies - Saudi Arabia ? Iran ? And Khan is awful - totally awful . There’s also the fact that the number one terrorist threat here in the UK is Islamic terrorism . Why did this guy get suspended for telling the truth ? We should have learnt our lesson after all those poor girls got abused up north by the Muslim gangs . You lefties need to stop burying your heads in the sand .

2024-06-16 12:23:52

Jamal, you can actually find this out for yourself, it's there and there are many of Muslim countries who use democracy with their voting system. Thanks. And what's true about the comment over Khan? That should be about politics, not his ethnicity or religion.

2024-06-16 18:23:31

Trace, Radical Islam is a serious threat to western society, it has clearly intentions to create islamic states around the world, it has killed and injured thousands of innocent women and children, it is the reason for "diversity bollards" on bridges it is the reason for armed police at Christmas markets and churches, there are currently over 20,000 on the UK terror watchlist, you can bury your head in the sand all you like however the threat is real, Never Drop Your Guard!

2024-06-16 18:43:06

Pedro, that has nothing to do with James Leppard.

David Forman
2024-06-17 00:03:21

The Labour luvvies can't get over the fact they couldn't win control of Harlow Council, not even with the help of Hope not Hate. I would seriously recommend the luvvies get a grip and move on.

2024-06-17 08:04:23

David Forman, please grow up. Goodness me, it isn't tribal politics, it is holding people to account in public office, something that is done across all political parties.

2024-06-18 08:38:54

Trace, unless you have seen the entire FB thread and not just the snippets reports by Hope not Hate (far left fanatics) how can you say it was not taken out of context? Typical lefties, forget the facts and just buy the headline slogan! All parties have serious procedures regarding these complaints. It is now closed. The matter was well. divulged before the election and he was elected fair and square.

Tom Compton
2024-06-20 01:59:21

Gary, Councillor Leppard was integral to ensuring Council Tax was reduced for every person in Harlow. This has not risen for 2 years and the huge surpluses that Labour made at the cost of our town are now being spent on regeneration. Potters Street specifically, I cannot answer, but town wide there are examples above. Trace, I think the main point is that Councillor Leppard was singled out by a bias group at a time his mother passed away. Regardless of politics, that is not pleasant or appropriate. We can differ on opinion of politics but hopefully not on unsubstantiated attack on people.

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