ALLEGEDLY calling a group of women ‘hags’ on Facebook has landed a UKIP county councillor in hot water and left him facing calls to resign.
Richard Leppington (Blakeney and Bream) is under investigation by the council’s monitoring officer following the aftermath of a community meeting held in Tutshill last month.
It was intended that UKIP members would explain policies and what their party stood for at the village’s War Memorial Hall when a small group of women gathered there to express their concerns about its stance on immigration.
Afterwards, Mr Leppington is accused of posting on his Facebook page: “Shame about the four hags who tried to picket the meeting.
“Well if they don't like us standing up for our own people then b......s !”
The women said they were simply “quietly talking to” attendees of the meeting who approached them and were handing out leaflets about the anti-racism group Hope not Hate.
A paper banner with the slogan ‘Calm down dear, it’s only immigration’ sparked Mr Leppington’s ire, they said.
Mr Leppington has apologised to the women, saying he never intended to cause offence.
But one of the women, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s a blatant slur. How you can call someone a hag without intending offence?
“Richard Leppington was belligerent before the meeting started, even though we were standing away from the entrance quietly talking to attendees who approached us.
“He took offence at a small paper banner and told us that immigrants were taking jobs away from ‘British working men’. We pointed out that, as women, we all work too.”
The women have called for Mr Leppington, who was elected in May, to step down.
Mr Leppington did not want to comment directly about the allegations while an investigation is running but said: “I don’t want to upset anybody in the course of doing my job.
“Hopefully I’m doing a good job for everybody, whether they voted for me or not. I just want to get on with it, to help people, without any distractions like these.
“I hope it’s brought to a swift resolution.”
Jane Burns, monitoring officer at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “I can confirm that we’ve received a complaint and that we’re currently investigating it through the appropriate channels. I’m unable to comment further at this time.”