Tory councillor sacked after sick joke about Manchester shootings, as vigil held in memory of murdered officers

By Dean Wilkins

A Tory councillor who thought it was funny to joke about the deaths of murdered Manchester police officers has been sacked.

David Stephenson, who represents West Hallam on Erewash borough Council in Derbyshire, made the sick joke just days after PCs Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32, were gunned down in Hattersley.

And on the day hundreds of their colleagues attended a vigil, one week after the shooting, the councillor was removed from his post by the council leader Chris Corbett.

Mr Stephenson joked: “If you get 100 points for shooting one policewoman and 200 points for shooting two policewomen, how many do you get for shooting a lawyer?”

He made the quip in front of a serving Nottinghamshire police officer’s wife – she informed her husband and the unfunny Conservative was reported to his seniors.

One week after the tragic events – the first time in British history that two female officers have been killed while on duty – up to 500 people attended a three-mile walk in Abbey Gardens, where the shootings took place.

The mass walk was organised to remember Miss Hughes and Miss Bone, who had eight years of service between them, and a minutes silence was held at 10.58am in memory of their lives.

Pictures of the two officers were placed above flowers on Ashworth Lane, Mottram, and Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy claimed it was a chance for those in mourning to pay their respects.

“The vigil is a moment to pray for the dead officers and their families,” he said. “I think what you have seen over the past week is that GMP is one big family and we have lost two members of our family and we feel that loss very deeply.

“I know the families of Fiona and Nicola have been hugely moved and uplifted by the great public support from around the country, around the world, but particularly from the people of Hattersley and Mottram.”

“I would like to say a huge thank you to you all for being here.

“We treasure the memory of Fiona and Nicola, their great service, which symbolises the great service by so many police officers and police staff, day in day out, doing their best to try and serve the public.”

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