A Nottinghamshire county councillor expelled from the Conservative Party revealed he was thrown out over a Twitter account which ‘liked’ explicit images – and claims the account was hacked.
Councillor Nigel Turner also said he is appealing the decision. It comes after a complaint was made to the national Conservative Party over the alleged social media activity.
Cllr Turner, who represents Worksop South, has also been removed from the Conservative Group at County Hall following a disciplinary process by Conservative Central Headquarters.
A senior Tory at County Hall confirmed the expulsion in a statement last week, but provided no information on why Cllr Turner was removed from the party.
But now the councillor, who was first elected this time last year, has issued a statement on his Facebook page.
In it Cllr Turner says the complaint related to activity on a dormant Twitter account previously used by him. He says the account was hacked before the explicit images were liked.
Cllr Turner adds the account was then regained through conversations with Twitter, with the posts removed and the account deleted.
However, a complaint was made to the national Conservative party, and Cllr Turner says the investigations came at a time when he was suffering with serious health concerns.
These concerns, he says, meant he was “unable to fully respond to the investigators”, which he believes led to an “unfair outcome” in the investigation.
He is in the process of appealing the decision and confirmed he will continue to represent the Worksop South division during this period.
In the statement, posted on May 9, he said: “I can confirm that I have been expelled from the Conservative Party. The expulsion is based around a dormant Twitter account, which was hacked, and explicit images liked.
“Since this issue came to light, I have been working with Twitter to establish how this account was hacked and to regain control over the account.
“With their help, I was able to regain control and remove the posts and delete the account.
“Following on from the initial complaint made to Conservative Central Headquarters (CCHQ), I suffered a period of ill health.
“Due to these health issues, I was unable to fully respond to the investigators from CCHQ. This led, in my opinion, to this unfair outcome.
“My serious health concerns contributed to CCHQ making the wrong decision over the issue, as they were not in full possession of the facts, including my communications with Twitter.
“I am now working with my local association, the leadership at Nottinghamshire County Council, Bassetlaw’s Member of Parliament and my Conservative family in appealing this decision.
“I thank them for the support that my family and myself have received during this difficult time.
“I will continue to serve the residents of Worksop South as County Councillor, to support the leadership at Nottinghamshire County Council in delivering on the people’s priorities, and look forward to re-joining the Conservative Group once I have cleared my name.”
Cllr Turner will now sit as an unaligned independent in County Hall pending an outcome from the ongoing appeal.
Cllr Chris Barnfather, Conservative business manager at the council, previously confirmed he removed the Worksop councillor’s whip following a request from the central party.
He said: “A complaint was received by Conservative Central Office which led to disciplinary procedures being initiated and which has now resulted in the expulsion of Councillor Nigel Turner from the Conservative Party.
“Acting in accordance with the Conservative Party’s constitution, I have now removed the whip from Cllr Turner, he will no longer be part of the administration at County Hall and will now sit as a non-aligned independent member in the chamber.”