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Mayor of Borehamwood Clive Butchins accused of making 'silly remarks' on Facebook
Labour’s parliamentary candidate has called for a Conservative councillor to apologise after he was accused of making "spiteful" remarks on a social media site.
Clive Butchins, Mayor of Elstree & Borehamwood, sparked outrage when he told user Justin Tepper to “go and live in a country where there is not a democratic government” on Facebook.
Councillor Richard Butler, who is standing for Hertsmere's MP in the 2015 elections, is now urging him to retract the “rude and uncalled for” comment.
The row began when Mr Tepper posted a comment on popular group Borehamwood not Elstree to express his disgust after Conservative campaign flyers were posted through his door.
He wrote: “You all know where I live and don’t bother reading it, you are wasting paper and money. I have never been, nor will be, a supporter of your party. Spend your money elsewhere.”
But people were left alarmed by Cllr Butchins reply, which read: “It’s just not practical to pick and chose which houses get delivered to.
“No-one is forcing you to read the leaflets but you might learn something if you do. I believe it is a most important part of democracy .
“If you don’t want to participate in the democratic process, you should go and live in a country where there isn’t a democratic government.”
Since then, users have accused him of undermining freedom of speech and making patronising remarks.
Another man who contacted the Borehamwood Times said the rant was “bordering on racist”.
But others feel Mr Tepper’s initial comment was “provocative” and Cllr Butchins was simply venting his own frustration.
However, Cllr Butler said: “It was a rude thing to say, and clearly done out of spite. We are living in a democratic society which is fantastic – but I respect the fact that some don’t agree with our manifesto.
“However, if someone has seen it as racist, or patronising, he should apologise regardless of intention. I know Clive and I know he’s not a racist man, but he should have thought his reply through a bit more.
“It was a silly use of language – you shouldn’t go around telling people to move country.”
Cllr Butchins said the situation had been blown out of proportion but declined to comment any further.
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