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Official complaint lodged over monkey and organ grinder picture

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 30, 2014

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A LABOUR councillor has demanded an investigation after a picture depicting him as an ‘organ grinder’ and a council leader as a monkey, was posted by a rival party member online.

The picture, posted on Tory Councillor Len Milner’s Twitter account, has super-imposed Bill Ganley’s face onto that of an organ grinder, standing next to a monkey which shows the face of Labour’s Julian Mott, leader of East Staffordshire Borough Council.

Now, Councillor Ganley, who represents Shobnall on the borough council, is making an official complaint about the picture, which has been retweeted many times, saying it was ‘inappropriate’ and ‘overstepping’ the mark.

Councillor Milner, who represents Stretton, said his rival has previously found the picture funny, quoting Councillor Ganley’s previous tweet: “Just seen the tweet from Len Milner. I am shocked. I didn’t know he had a sense of humour, or is it someone else’s?”

The reason behind the picture, Councillor Milner says, is ‘pretty obvious’.

“Bill Ganley seems to be the mouthpiece for the council, while Julian Mott, its leader, is extremely quiet, and doesn’t answer questions put to him.

“In response to the photo, Councillor Ganley tweeted that he found it funny and was shocked to see that the Tories have a sense of humour.”

However, the picture has since been deleted, with the councillor saying: “I decided to remove it because it was causing upset. We don’t want to cause upset with other people so I had no problem in removing it.”

He also added that many pictures have been retweeted of David Cameron with Pinocchio’s nose, incinuating he is a liar, and he claims nothing is said.

However, despite Councillor Ganley’s initial humour, he is lodging an official complaint with Andy O’Brien, the borough council’s chief executive, who he hopes will take the matter to the standards board.

He said: “Julian Mott is our leader and has a position. I do not hold a portfolio so I can say what I want. I am effectively a backbencher so I have more freedom.

“I have an ongoing spat with Tory councillors and they talk to me about respect, but they need to be careful of what they say because this photo completely flies in the face of that.

“It is belittling and trying to humiliate me and has gone too far.

“I hope that some action will be taken and I will make an official complaint. If it had been me doing this I know I would be facing the standards board.

“If I become deputy mayor next week, my tweets will stop because it will not be appropriate to get into an argument with people on Twitter.”

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