The leader of South Kesteven District Council, Coun Kelham Cooke, has now sought to distance his party and authority from Conservative Councillor for Aveland ward Dr Peter Moseley after opposition members spoke out. Dr Moseley has now been suspended from the Conservative Party and the Tory group on the district council. He is now listed as an independent.
The move came on Friday after a further retweet raised concern.
In a statement issued through its press office, SKDC said: “The views expressed by Coun Moseley are on a personal social media account and do not reflect those of South Kesteven District Council.
“South Kesteven District Council is committed to inclusivity and equality and takes any form of racism, or other behaviour likely to cause offence, extremely seriously.
“Coun Moseley has been suspended pending investigation by the Conservative Party and from the South Kesteven Conservative Group and is now listed as Independent Unaligned.”
Coun Moseley, who also acted as chairman of Pointon Parish Council last year having been seconded to the authority on a temporary basis after five members resigned, has since commented: “My social media accounts are my own private, personal ones and are in no way related to any role I play as a councillor. This is clearly stated in my biography.
“I would suggest that whomever has contacted you is using you to “make waves” but if they are in any way offended then that really is their problem, and not mine.
“They have chosen to follow on these platforms, it’s not hard for them to unfollow if they disagree. Feigning outrage to make a political point is exactly what I would expect from some, which is why I keep these accounts separate.”
In a statement SKDC’s Conservative leader Coun Kelham Cooke said: “The individual views expressed by Coun Dr Moseley on his personal Twitter account are not the views of the Conservative Party or South Kesteven District Council.
“We are advised by our public health professionals on the best way forward in following their guidelines given, and I echo their message that the best thing we can all do is to get vaccinated and have the booster vaccine as soon as possible.”
Coun Dr Moseley, whose doctorate is in engineering, has used his Twitter account to argue against masks for school children and vaccine mandates. He also accused covid stats of being “propaganda.”
He acknowledged vaccinations protected people, but added: “take it for yourself if you choose.”
Tweeting about Canada’s covid rules and comments from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau around vaccine hesitancy, he said: “Trudeau has lost his mind. He is completely nuts and is holding an entire country hostage.”
He later called him a “psychopath” and added: “Yep, we can see Trudeau going all Hitler on the population.”
Coun Dr Moseley took to his personal Twitter account on January 1 to say: “My hopes for this year are many, but the most important one is the repeal of vaccine mandates for front line healthcare staff, and the end to the emergency measures within the coronavirus act.
“It has turned out to be a tool for evil, rather than good.”
However, he has encouraged people to get vaccinated, tweeting: “A vaccine passport is a divisive control measure which doesn’t have any health or infection control benefit at all.
“To accept them is accepting the loss of your freedom to participate in living.
“A vaccination protects you, take it for yourself if you choose.”
He also accuses his own government in the UK of “bullying schoolchildren” and “acting like bossy parents”.
Independent Coun Richard Cleaver was shocked, commenting: “To put up an argument to say that the Act has had some unintended negative effects would be one thing, but to say that it has become a “tool for evil” is a rather extreme claim which either needs to be backed up with some evidence or withdrawn.”
Labour’s Coun Lee Steptoe said: “These views are clearly abhorrent and will undermine public health measures that are needed to protect against covid.”
He said his party would be meeting to consider whether to lodge a complaint to the council’s monitoring officer.