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Senior councillor apologies over ‘transphobic’ retweet

Conservative councillor 'regrets' reposting comment

Senior councillor apologies over ‘transphobic’ retweet

A SENIOR Conservative councillor has had to apologise after sharing online comments mocking transgender people as mentally disordered.

Political opponents have called for an inquiry after Dominic Boeck used his social media Twitter account to re-post other users’ comments.

He retweeted a post about comedian Eddie Izzard, recently defeated in his bid for a seat on the Labour Party’s ruling body.

Original poster Rod Bishop published a photo of the transgender comic and said: “Just when you think Labour couldn’t be any more ridiculous they bring on Eddie Izzard.”

But what provoked most outrage was Mr Boeck’s sharing of comments by another poster, using the moniker BrexitTory, who wrote: “There are two genders but three options – 1 male; 2 female; 3 mental disorder.”

Mr Boeck subsequently deleted his reposting of the comments.

His Twitter profile states: “Retweets from me do not signify endorsement.”

The chairwoman of Newbury Labour Party, Gemma Lowe, said: “West Berkshire Council has made a great deal of its commitment to improving the mental health of the community by raising awareness of its causes and fighting stigma.

“Research by Stonewall [UK lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights charity] shows trans young people are particularly vulnerable to serious mental health problems; more than one in four have attempted suicide and 72 per cent, of a sample of 956, report having self-harmed.

“Yet one of our senior elected representatives, Dominic Boeck, seems to think it’s acceptable to engage in transphobic, mocking tweets.”

She called for a council investigation and added: “He is apparently unconcerned that his words serve to deepen and legitimise stigmatising attitudes and show awareness only of his own bigoted world view.

“We have been shocked by the content of his Twitter feed in general.

“Maybe he should read his own council’s social media code of conduct – and report himself.”

Mr Boeck later posted on Twitter: “I do believe without doubt that people of any gender and sexual orientation must be respected and I will make sure my behaviour online and off reflects that.

“I resolve to look closer at tweets before I retweet them and I regret any offence I may have given in this way.

“I absolutely do not believe that anyone with gender issues is mentally ill.”

He told the NWN: “People have interpreted what I retweeted in a way I’m sorry about.

“I will make sure I don’t put myself in that position again.”

When pressed on why he had chosen to retweet the comments, Mr Boeck declined to comment.

Newbury’s Conservative MP Richard Benyon described Mr Boeck as “an honourable man” and added: “I’ve known Dominic long enough to know that he is not how he is being portrayed.

“He has expressed his regret and apologised. The matter should be left there.”

The NWN asked West Berkshire Council whether its code of conduct had been broken.

Council spokeswoman Peta Stoddart-Crompton, said: “We don’t divulge receipt of complaints as it could prejudice outcomes.”

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Article comments

  • NewburyDenizen

    19/04/2018 - 11:11

    Wow, the comments here really shouldn't surprise me given the right leaning stance of this area of the country, what happened to compassion and caring for others? I guess having the country led by racism enabling tories is only going to draw more of the selfish and different hating scum out into the public with bigoted views.

    Reply

  • Westberkswalker

    15/04/2018 - 09:09

    Mr Boeck is a member of the Executive of West Berkshire Council, the committee that makes the most important decisions. He is, therefore, a senior figure in WBC and should realise that with that responsibility also comes an expectation to behave in a certain way. Casually retweeting comments that cruelly make fun of your political opponents is utterly inappropriate and frankly immature behaviour. It shows a total lack of judgement and gives me no confidence in the decisions that this Councillor is making on behalf of us all in West Berkshire. This matter should not be swept under the carpet. There should be an investigation into Mr Boeck's behaviour. The subject of the retweets this time was the transgender community. What could it be another time? Does Mr Boeck not realise that he represents everyone in WB and not just those of whom he approves? He is in a position where he needs to make decisions for the good of us all. His tweets suggest to me that that might not always be the case.

    Reply

  • scooberdoo3

    13/04/2018 - 21:09

    Here, here i think most people do. I certainly do.

    Reply

    • Rebecca

      15/04/2018 - 15:03

      I don't

      Reply

  • Louise

    Louise

    13/04/2018 - 12:12

    Many of us concur with his view ; get over it.

    Reply

    • grumpy

      13/04/2018 - 15:03

      Indeed we do

      Reply

      • Rebecca

        15/04/2018 - 15:03

        I don't

        Reply

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