A Tory councillor has been suspended over an offensive tweet about a Grenfell Tower protest, the leader of Solihull council has confirmed.
On Friday afternoon the Twitter account of councillor Ken Hawkins posted "Let's get ourselves a hangin!" while sharing a photo of the hundreds of people gathered outside Kensington Town Hall to demand justice for the victims of the tragedy, which left at least 79 people dead.
Protesters chanted "no justice, no peace" and "Tories out" as they marched through the borough. Many were disappointed at the lack of support survivors had received from the government.
The tweet has been deleted, while the cabinet member for environment, housing, and regeneration's account has been set to private.
Many people were shocked at the comparison of the Grenfell Tower community to a lynch mob.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News Bob Sleigh, leader of Solihull council, said that he had taken immediate action to suspend Hawkins from his position in light of complaints about his social media activity over the weekend.
Sleigh added that the council's monitoring officer would conduct an investigation.
"Like the whole country, I have been shocked and deeply moved by the horrific fire at Grenfell Tower," he said in a statement.
“Over the weekend the Council received a formal complaint about the actions of a Cabinet Member, Cllr Ken Hawkins. In light of the complaint related to Cllr Hawkins' comments on social media, an investigation will now take place led by the Council's Monitoring Officer in line with the Council's standards procedures."
The statement continued: “I have taken the immediate action to suspend Cllr Hawkins from his Cabinet Member position for the Environment, Housing and Regeneration. I will be taking responsibility in the short term for these areas.”
Ken Hawkins declined to comment.
Fiona Rutherford is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Fiona Rutherford at email@example.com.
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