Chris Paul, Labour Councillor for Withington, is being investigated by the Greater Manchester Police after his wildly misogynistic and offensive tweets surfaced, in which he described women as “slobs”, “cows”, “c*nts” and “b*tches”.
The only current Liberal Democrat Councillor, John Leech, has now condemned the behaviour, saying “even the most staunch of Labour supporters would have to think twice about whether they would want him to be their councillor”.
He has also hit out at the Labour party for doing little to denounce Paul’s behaviour. The party has instead continued to endorse him as a candidate and he is standing for re-election to the council tomorrow.
When his comments were first exposed, Paul denied and brushed off the behaviour, blaming malicious Photoshopping for the wrongdoing. Others in the party simply heralded other work he had previously done. He has since deleted his Twitter account.
However, the comments have retained their transiency and there are rumours that the tweets have been distributed around Withington in South Manchester.
Leech, who is also hoping to be re-elected to his council seat, is outraged to see Paul’s name on the candidate list and has branded Paul’s behaviour as “vile and abusive”.
He told MM: “The things that he has said on Twitter are absolutely appalling – regardless of who would say them. But the fact that it’s being said by somebody in the public spotlight is completely unacceptable.”
Leech himself was a target for Paul’s abuse, when the Labour Councillor told him he needed a slap. But the issue goes further than a personal or political tirade for Leech, who is most disturbed that comments were targeted at individuals whom Paul had never met.
He added: “Paul knows how far his comments go in terms of the audience and it’s simply not acceptable behaviour.
“For example, some people will be offended by some of the vile stuff he said about women and promoting violence against women is absolutely abhorrent.”
The Labour party in Manchester have endorsed Paul as a candidate in tomorrow’s elections and he continues to stand in the Withington ward, an area heavily populated by students.
In light of recent discourse surrounding Labour’s hesitation to investigate indecent behaviour in the party, Leech says this appears to go against Jeremy Corbyn’s promise to take complaints seriously.
Leech carried his disregard of the situation towards the entire party too. He said: “This reflects pretty badly on the Labour party in Manchester.
“I would have thought, that given the stuff that has come out recently, no one would seriously think that this was acceptable behaviour.
“It brings the Labour party in Manchester into disrepute and you would expect them to take firm action in those circumstances.”
This attitude has been reflected in Paul’s peers within the Labour party who have seldom supported his work, using it as an excuse and distraction for what he has said.
Leech added: “If you’ve done some pretty vile and offensive things, then you’ve done some vile and offensive things.
“You can’t get away with what has been done just because you’ve done a lot of good work on the transport committee.”
MM has approached Chris Paul for comment but has had no response.