A Conservative councilor has been suspended following a tweet from his account which mocked Liverpool’s terrorist attack.
Paul Nickerson, a Conservative councilor in East Riding in Yorkshire, has now been suspended after a tweet appeared on his account about the fatal explosion outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital.
Detectives believe Emad Al Swealmeen built the bomb that exploded outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital on Sunday morning, killing him and injuring taxi driver David Perry.
READ MORE:Tory councilor apologizes after mocking Liverpool terrorist attack
The fatal incident Sunday morning resulted in a massive counter-terrorism crackdown and has created a sense of unrest in the city.
A picture of former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn had been overlaid to look as if he was walking towards the car’s flaming debris, Hull Live reported.
Cllr Nickerson denied having posted the tweet, claiming that his account had been hacked, but said the suspension was reasonable and that he would cooperate with the investigation.
Cllr Denis Healy, deputy leader of the East Riding opposition Liberal Democrats, said Cllr Nickerson should resign as a ward member and that the tweet was an insult to his constituents.
The comments come after Beverley and Holderness Labor urged Cllr Nickerson to resign due to the tweet posted Monday night (November 15)
Cllr Nickerson later tweeted an apology, but the tweet has provoked backlash online, including from political figures like Labor Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy.
Cllr Nickerson said after his suspension that he regretted that the tweet was sent because it went against his own efforts to work more positively across different parties.
Cllr Nickerson said: “I apologize for the effects of what has happened.
“I’m still very much a part of the Conservative Party, and I’m still a ward councilor.
“It is quite reasonable that the group would do this while investigating what happened.”
Cllr Jonathan Owen, head of the East Riding Council, said in a statement: “Following an inappropriate and offensive message that appeared on Councilor Paul Nickerson’s Twitter feed, I have suspended him from the East Riding Council Conservative Group with immediate effect, and a investigation will now take place. “
Labor Beverley and Holderness department chairman Steve Gallant said the picture was shocking and urged Cllr Nickerson, a former Conservative group whip and a committee chairman, to be disciplined.
The party also wrote to Cllr Owen, saying the tweet was unprofessional and followed recent calls for more kindness in politics following the assassination of Conservative MP David Amess.
Social media chief David Morris in the branch said Labor would ideally see Cllr Nickerson leave the council altogether.
He said: “It was a deeply offensive post to make on many levels, it is not acceptable in an era where we are appealing to people to be kinder to each other in politics.
“He’s not one of the new councilors he’s been around for a while and is committee chairman he should know better.”
Cllr Healy, ward member for neighboring St Mary’s in Beverley and vice chairman of the Overview Management Committee, Cllr Nickerson, said he was disappointed with him.
The Liberal Democrat deputy leader said: “I am very shocked, but I am not surprised that he has been suspended.
“We can only accept what he says about his account being hacked, but I think his position as ward councilor is now untenable, he should do it properly and resign.”
Al Swealmeen, 32, reportedly died instantly and the taxi driver, named as David Perry, managed to jump from the vehicle just seconds after the explosion.
Police are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the attack, focusing on Rutland Avenue in south Liverpool, where Emad Al Swealmeen reserved the taxi from Sunday, and where ‘significant items’ have been found.