'I see the irony' - divisive councillor takes his seat after post backlash

Glenn Tingle, UKIP candidate for Sewell. Pic: UKIP.

Glenn Tingle, UKIP candidate for Sewell. Pic: UKIP. - Credit: UKIP

A man accused of a series of racist and sexist posts online before standing in a by-election has taken his town council seat and said he sees "irony" in his victory.

Glenn Tingle, who was standing as a Conservative candidate in a Sprowston Town Council by-election before being kicked out of the party earlier this month, took his seat on Wednesday evening, after being elected with a 62-vote majority last week

He was suspended from the Conservatives after posts on his social media account, which were branded "disgusting" by one district councillor, were revealed by the local democracy reporting service (LDRS).

Speaking during a town council meeting on Wednesday, Mr Tingle reiterated his apology for the posts.

He said: "I'm really pleased, I started campaigning with UKIP in 2007 and stood in three general elections, six county and district and I can't remember how many parish. I've been default elected onto Old Catton twice.

"And last Thursday was was the first election in 14 years I have ever won, I see a bit of irony in this. 

"I intend to make every effort to serve Sprowston and hopefully make a positive impact." 

While Mr Tingle acknowledged people may not have the Conservative councillor they voted, he said his views "haven't changed" as an independent.

"I'm no longer a party member but my views haven't changed insofar as the Conservative mantra," he said. 

"I think it would be irresponsible of me having been elected, fairly and squarely by the people, if I was to resign that would cause another by-election at a cost to parishioners, or the town council itself."

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Mr Tingle admitted he was "not sure" if he would have won the election if his comments had been uncovered earlier but said he had a good majority over the Labour candidate.

He added: "I don't think the press reporting on it did me any harm at all in the end." 

Reiterating his previous apology, Mr Tingle said he thought it was time to put it behind him and move forward in a positive and structured way.  

Asked if he could reasonably represent all the residents of the town, with his comments having been criticised, Mr Tingle responded that he could "only try" and hoped people realised his comments were "tongue in cheek". 

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