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Keighley councillor's Twitter row escalates to party chiefs
7:00am Tuesday 12th March 2013 in Keighley
Bradford MP George Galloway says he is not satisfied with the local Labour Party’s response to what he has called an “odious” comment made on Twitter by a Keighley councillor.
The Respect MP complained to Bradford Council leader Councillor David Green last month after Keighley East member Steve Pullen mocked Galloway on social network site Twitter.
In response to anti-Galloway user ‘Where’s George’s’ comment “Will George actually do something for Bradford West this week?”, Coun Pullen replied: “Maybe top himself?”
Although the councillor claimed it was a light-hearted exchange, Mr Galloway saw it differently, and lodged an official complaint with the party.
He said at the time of the incident: “I don’t know who Councillor Steve Pullen is, but he’s an absolute disgrace, not just to the Labour Party, but to humanity.”
But almost a month later, the MP feels the party has done little to punish the councillor, who is chairman of the local authority’s Keighley Area Committee.
Mr Galloway was sent an e-mail from Coun Green late last month saying: “The whips have taken what they deem to be appropriate action in this case.”
Unsatisfied with the way the issue has been handled, the MP has now referred the issue to the national Labour Party.
Chief Labour whip on Bradford Council, Coun Shere Khan, said: “We did investigate and spoke to Coun Pullen.
“He apologised to us and said he had made a mistake and didn’t mean offence. He apologised, so that should be the end of it.”
But Mr Galloway’s assistant, Ron McKay, said: “It was a completely unsatisfactory reply from Coun Green, as the result of which an official complaint is going in to the Labour Party nationally.”
Coun Pullen said: “I have had action taken against me by the Labour Group.
“I have taken my punishment and I am not able to talk about it. It was a non-issue.”