Cllr Roger Taylor to face Standards Committee



Following yesterday’s article about the abhorrent behaviour of Calderdale Councillor Roger Taylor, Calderdale Council have acted swiftly to address concerns about his inappropriate behaviour. The Conservative Councillor who described the Hillsborough Report as "overloaded with politically correct language" and the Stephen Lawrence inquiry Report as a "joke" will now face a formal investigation by the Standards Committee.

Leader of Calderdale Council Tim Swift stated that,

"Cllr Taylor's comments about the Hillsborough report are unacceptable, ignoring the very grave and serious issues raised by the report, and are completely insensitive to the views and feelings of the many families who were touched by this tragedy and are still waiting for justice."

He went on to say,

"Many of his other reported comments are equally unpleasant, unacceptable and ill-judged.I am certain that the majority - and hopefully the overwhelming majority - of the councillors in Calderdale will completely repudiate his views, which are totally at odds with the values of Calderdale."

JUST West Yorkshire, a charity which defends civil liberties and promotes racial justice has been receiving offensive racist and Islamaphobic emails from Councillor Taylor since August 2011. They decided to go public with his comments as they felt that his inappropriate references to the Hillsborough Report and the Stephen Lawrence inquiry Report were particularly disrespectful given the tragedy that families have suffered following the death of their loved ones. JUST expect those in public office to subscribe to the highest standards of behaviour and Councillor Taylor has clearly breached the codes of conduct laid down for councillors.

In response to the prompt action taken by the Leader Tim Swift and the call by Constituency MP Linda Riordan for Councillor Taylor to resign, JUST West Yorkshire’s Director, Ratna Lachman said:

"We welcome the investigation into Councillor Taylor’s conduct by the Standards Committee and we will be submitting previous emails sent to JUST West Yorkshire which highlight that Councillor Taylor’s behaviour does not meet the standards set out in the councillor’s code of conduct. We will co-operate fully with the investigation and we hope that holders of public office will understand that they are accountable and cannot abuse their privilege of public office.”

Deputy leader, Liberal Democrat Councillor Janet Battye, has also condemned Cllr Taylor’s actions and has urged the Conservative group to dismiss him.

Francine Fernandes