AN OCKENDON councillor has found himself in hot water after a making a number of controversial statements on his Twitter account.
Young Aaron Kiely has only been a councillor for twelve weeks but he has soon found out that a public life is one that is under the microscope.
The left-wing firebrand has been tweeting for some time now and covers a great deal of subjects: some local (his first visit to the South Ockendon Community Forum) and some global (the health of Venezualan president Hugo Chavez).
However he has been particularly “vocal” or “twocal” over the past week in relation to the riots.
Among his tweets or retweets have been:
“Difficult to dismiss people at these protests as ‘violent thugs’ – there are huge & complex problems with poverty & police racism.”
“High proportion of Black residents + institutionally racist police = not good.”
The messages of 140 characters or less have not gone down well with the Thurrock Conservative group.
Conservative leader Cllr Phil Anderson said: “Local councillors from all the political parties have been co-operating well together over the last 48 hours to ensure that people in Thurrock have accurate information and the council fulfils its role alongside the police and fire services.
We had agreed that we would not use these events to try and make a political argument, so I’m disappointed that Cllr Kiely seems to want to use the situation to pursue his own rather extreme political agenda.
“His comments are inflammatory and unhelpful, and by spreading unconfirmed rumours of local disturbances he is making himself part of the problem rather than the solution.”
The tweets come as one of cllr Kiely’s residents in South Ockendon was arrested on Tuesday night on suspicion of inciting violence through the use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook. They remain in custody.
They also may contrast with the district inspector at South Ockendon police station, Insp Marc Jordan who is an avid tweeter however many of his recent tweets reflect the enormous shifts that he and his men are undertaking at the moment.YT did try to contact cllr Kiely but he did not reply.
The deputy leader of the Labour group, cllr Valerie Morris-Cook did issue a statement.
Cllr Morris-Cook said: “My position and that of the Labour group is that we condemn the criminal activities of rioters, we fully support the efforts of the police to restore public order.