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Suspended Conservative councillor Alastair Redman claims he has been set-up.
The Kintyre and Islands councillor for Argyll and Bute was one of 25 members suspended from the Tory Party earlier this week over claims of Islamophobic and other prejudicial social media posts.
He says he has been targeted because he is such an ‘active’ councillor and ‘strong’ Conservative and claims the naming and shaming scenario has been ‘engineered’ to distract from Labour’s own woes in the run up to next month’s General Election.
‘This has been timed to coincide with the General Election and has been engineered to take away some of the attention from Labour’s anti-semitism crisis.
‘Being in politics you will always get accusations made against you. This is happening to me because I’m a very active councillor and a strong Conservative,’ he said.
‘I’m still in the party, it’s a suspension – it’s not permanent. I’m looking forward to being re-admitted.
‘The party has a duty to look into this and I support them fully in that. I am 100 per cent confident I will be completely exonerated. I still support the Conservatives wholeheartedly and will be voting Conservative in the next election.
‘I have campaigned alongside Muslims, Jews and Christians and I judge all people as individuals. My constituents know that I’m not prejudiced. The investigation will be wrapped up in an orderly fashion and the Party will take all the time it needs to do that,’ he added.
Councillor Redman said he ‘had no idea’ what the claim was against him.
‘I have not been told,’ he said.
Argyll and Bute Conservative leader Gary Mulvaney confirmed Councillor Redman had been suspensded from the Conservatives and from the Argyll and Bute Council’s Conservative group and its administration.
An Argyll and Bute spokesperson said: ‘This is a political matter arising from a complaint made to the Conservative Party and, as such, the council has no comment to make.’
The 25 suspensions, involving serving and ex-Conservative councillors, follows a dossier containing names that was produced by an anonymous Twitter user and handed to the Conservative party.