Sat, 07 Sept 2019
POLITICAL group Momentum West Berkshire has issued a public apology for posting a video questioning a district councillor’s commitment to the role.
In a frank interview in last week’s Newbury Weekly News, 22-year-old Nassar Kessell (Lib Dem, Thatcham Central) described the video as a “stab in the back at the lowest point of my life”.
Mr Kessell admitted he has “not been entirely focused” after both his brother and ex-boyfriend took their own lives five-and-a-half months apart.
However, he insists that he is up-to-date on his casework and is always available by phone or email should residents wish to raise their concerns with him.
Mr Kessell, who became the youngest person elected to West Berkshire Council in May, was in Scotland recently helping the Lib Dems with a by-election in his role as the party’s campaign officer.
A video was uploaded to Facebook by the ‘Labour Party focussed organisation’ Momentum West Berkshire, which criticised him for being miles away from Thatcham and the residents he represents.
The video, which was later taken down, featured a mock-up picture of Mr Kessell dressed as Where’s Wally? with the caption ‘Where’s Nassar Kessell?”
It went on to say: “That’s right, he’s in Shetland. Shame he’s not in Thatcham, being a councillor for you.”
It added: “The Lib Dems. Not working here!”
On Sunday, the group issued a statement which said: “Momentum West Berkshire regrets any distress [caused by] the satirical video questioning Cllr Nassar Kessell’s whereabouts after it learned that he had taken a job in a political post in Scotland.
“The post was published on Thursday August 22nd for a matter of hours but taken down at the time that Momentum West Berkshire was made aware of Cllr Kessell’s personal circumstances.
“The post was not published with any malicious intent, however we issue this statement by way of a public apology to Cllr Kessell.”