Conservatives choose controversial councillor David Burgess-Joyce to stand in Heswall local elections

By Ed Barnes - Local Democracy Reporter

3rd Feb 2023 | Local News

Cllr Burgess-Joyce
Cllr Burgess-Joyce

A controversial Conservative councillor who was suspended after comparing a Black MP to the Ku Klux Klan is standing again in this year's council elections.

Cllr David Burgess-Joyce is currently a councillor for Greasby, Frankby and Irby on Wirral Council but has confirmed he will be standing in Heswall after being selected by Conservative Party members.

He was previously suspended from the party after comparing Labour MP David Lammy to the American white supremecist group the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) on Twitter in 2019. Cllr Burgess-Joyce wrote: "Mr Lammy, if Mr Trump is racist then he's no doubt learnt it from you. You're an expert in virtue-signalling black issues.

"You pretend to speak for black people yet you do more damage to community cohesion than any KKK member."

The comments sparked widespread condemnation from councillors and MPs, including Mr Lammy who said that "comparing black people to those who lynched black people is beyond the pale."

In 2020, a Standards Panel at Wirral Council said Cllr Burgess-Joyce would have to publicly apologise, attend a training workshop, and apologise to those who complained to the council before rejoining the Conservatives.

In July that year, he was reinstated after he apologised at a full council meeting. He said: "I make no excuse for myself, but I forgot that you should never use Twitter when you are tired" and said he used a "wrong analogy."

Cllr Burgess-Joyce previously caused controversy after branding the renaming of streets and statues linked to the slave trade as a "Marxist national coup" and suggesting teachers who stayed at home in January 2021 over Covid concerns should be fired.

In 2022, he was deselected by the local Conservative party in Greasby. At the time, Cllr Burgess-Joyce said: "As the leadership let me down in the past, and continue to do so, I hold out little hope. I remain a Conservative and always will be but it is clear my criticism of certain directions has come to this."

On February 1 this year, he was selected as a candidate in the Conservative safe seat alongside councillors Andrew and Kathy Hodson. Candidates were selected by party members in a secret ballot after a speech and questions from the floor.

Cllr Burgess-Joyce said he was surprised to have been successful, adding: "Many residents, fellow councillors and activists were extremely unhappy I was deselected by Wirral West and have worked hard on my behalf to get me reinstated, for which I am immensely grateful.

"However, Wirral South saw I was a hard-working and passionate advocate and selected me for Heswall; and I promise to work equally hard there too."

A Wirral South Conservative Association spokesperson said: "We are pleased to have experienced Councillors on board who we are certain will promote the interest of residents in Heswall and Clatterbridge, delivering a fair plan and scrutinising the finances and the expenditure of the Council, which as you very well know, do not look good at present."

     

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