18th Nov, 2017

Councillor at centre of Eurovision twitter storm steps down

Laura Kearns 17th May, 2017 Updated: 17th May, 2017

A COUNCILLOR who sent a racist tweet during Eurovision has apologised and resigned from his position.

Nick Harrington, who holds the Cubbington and Stoneleigh seat on Warwick District Council, tweeted live during the Eurovision Song Contest which was held on Saturday (May 13).

The tweet he sent out – before deleting his account due to backlash on the social media site – said: “Thanks Ireland. You can keep your ******* gypsies! Hard border coming folks!”

It is believed to have been sent after Irish judges failed to give any points to the UK for their entry Lucie Jones.

After the tweet was sent he resigned from his position as a magistrate.

He was also suspended from the Warwick Conservative Group and is under investigation from the police.

And now he has also stood down from his elected role as a councillor.

Mr Harrington – who is director of Leamington business Ambay Software – said: “While watching the Eurovision Song Contest, I thoughtlessly sent a tweet which caused considerable offence to both members of the traveller community and to those of Irish heritage. I apologise unreservedly. My comments about the Irish border were also foolish.

“Therefore it is with deep regret that I formally tender my resignation as member for Stoneleigh & Cubbington Ward effective immediately.

“I am devastated that I have caused these events and apologise unreservedly to all constituents of Stoneleigh & Cubbington ward and to the wider public for the offence I have caused.

“It has been an honour and privilege to serve as a Councillor supporting the residents of Stoneleigh & Cubbington and I wish the next elected member every success working with the dedicated and hard working clerks and parish councillors in the ward.”

And Leader of the Council Coun Andrew Mobbs has agreed it is right the councillor resigns.

He said: “I can confirm Nick Harrington has resigned from his role and I also understand that he has resigned from his role as a councillor on Weston Under Wetherley Parish Council.

“I believe his resignation to be entirely appropriate. He is however, still under investigation by the police who will no doubt update us as soon as they have a made their report.

“I am very disappointed that his comment was made in the first place and by the reaction it generated towards the district council on social media.

“Nick Harrington was not an employee of Warwick District Council and so I would like to add that his attitude and comments are in no way supported by the district council, or are in any way a reflection on the progressive and dedicated staff that work for the council.”

Twitter users were quick to take to the site to voice their outrage at Mr Harrington’s tweet on Saturday night.

Daniel Browne, who is founder of festival Warwickshire Pride, said: “Absolutely disgraceful tweet and racism from councillor Nick Harrington. He should be removed from his position immediately.”

And Yvonne MacNamara, chief executive of Traveller Movement – a charity working with Irish traveller communities – said: “The comments by Nick Harrington are nothing short of disgraceful. We will push to ensure he receives the strongest possible penalties for his actions.”

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