THE YORKSHIRE councillor who mocked the charity appeal launched in memory of murdered MP Jo Cox has been expelled from the Conservative group on East Riding Council.
Dominic Peacock, who made an offensive remark on his Facebook account, was also suspended by the Conservative Party, pending an investigation, earlier today.
This morning protestors gathered outside the house of the Tory councillor, who represents Beverley and Woodmansey, to call for his resignation.
The prominent Vote Leave supporter was responding to a story about the appeal following Mrs Cox’s death reaching £1 million when he posted on Facebook: “I’ve just donated the steam off my p***.”
In a follow-up post, responding to critics, he wrote: “I am sick and tired of this woman’s death being used against the Brexit cause.”
He was suspended from the Tory group on East Riding Council and was expelled from the group “with immediate effect” at a meeting this lunchtime, following a recommendation by council leader Steve Parnaby.
He now faces mounting calls for his resignation as a councillor.
Former Labour councillor Nev Holgate said: “We knocked on his door and all we got was moving blinds. We wanted him to come out and apologise to the people of Beverley. We wanted also an apology to the husband of Jo Cox.”
Mr Holgate said Coun Peaock should resign as a councillor and donate a substantial sum from his council allowances to the memorial fund.
Spokesman for Beverley and Holderness George McManus welcomed news that Coun Peacock has been suspended from the Tory Party.
He said: “This is welcome news however, in order to avoid further embarrassment to the people of Beverley, Councillor Peacock should now resign.”
Soon after making the remark Coun Peacock posted on a local Vote Leave supporting page: “I’ve deleted my offensive comment I shouldn’t have put it on in the first place - I won’t make excuses.”
A spokesman at Conservative Central Office said: “Mr Peacock’s comments are highly offensive and he has been suspended from the party, pending an investigation.”
Yesterday, Mr Parnaby said the councillor had been suspended from the group with immediate effect for “inappropriate and offensive remarks.”
Coun Parnaby said: “All people in public life, irrespective of politics should be united in condemning the fatal and dreadful attack on Jo Cox. This is not the time for inappropriate remarks, however intended, and I will not tolerate them in my Group, and residents should expect their elected representatives to act in an appropriate and compassionate way.”
Coun Keith Moore, deputy leader of the council’s Labour group, told The Yorkshire Post: “I believe he should be expelled from the Conservative party for such insensitive comments and vile language.”
A meeting of the East Riding Council takes place today (Wednesday), with a minute’s silence for Mrs Cox scheduled on the agenda.
Beverley and Holderness Conservative MP Graham Stuart said: “I was appalled by Councillor Peacock’s grossly offensive and insensitive post and it is right that he has now apologised unreservedly and removed the post.
“Jo Cox is a huge loss to British politics, was a warm and caring person and leaves behind a devastated family. Councillor Peacock should be utterly ashamed.
“I fully support his suspension from the East Riding of Yorkshire Council Conservative Group.”
East Riding independent councillor Andy Strangeway called for Coun Peacock’s “immediate resignation”.
Coun Peacock has been an East Riding Councillor since 2011 and was re-elected last year. He also sits on Beverley Town Council’s Policy and Grants Committees.
On his council register of interests, he describes himself as a residential landlord, and lists 11 Beverley properties in which he has a “beneficial interest”.