LONDON — A Labour councillor has been suspended from the party after being caught on camera performing a Nazi salute during a heated budget meeting.
Jonny Morris of Plymouth City Council said he was “angry” after Conservative and UKIP councillors cut a debate on the local budget short by calling for the vote to be taken.
The Labour Councillor reacted in bizarre fashion, performing a Nazi salute in the direction of Tory and UKIP councillors in front of a camera that was recording the meeting for a live online feed.
Other councillors in the room were visibly furious and called on Morris to apologise. The Labour Councillor later issued an apology but has been suspended by the party until further notice.
“I was very angry at the closing down of debate on Plymouth’s budget by the UKIP/Tory ruling group,” Morris said.
“I let that anger get the better of me, and made an inappropriate and offensive gesture. I apologise unreservedly.”
Council leader Ian Bowyer described the gesture as “totally unacceptable” and suggested that it could be regarded as a hate crime.
Bowyer said: “I think the council’s monitoring officer will doubtless wish to investigate further – there are potentially serious consequences here.”
“Although Councillor Morris apologised for his behaviour in my opinion this constitutes hate crime, which is totally unacceptable. I cannot ever recall such an uncontrolled outburst in the council chamber.
He added: “It besmirches the reputation of public office.”
Watch Morris’ extraordinary outburst:
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