Conservative group leader reinstated five months after offensive tweet controversy

David Fisher has been reappointed leader of Sandwell Conservatives, despite previously standing down after offensive social media posts were uncovered.

Councillor David Fisher
Councillor David Fisher

Councillor Fisher stood down in December after old comments he made on Twitter about the lack of “white representation” in the NHS resurfaced, adding that he “did not know a white GP or doctor”.

In a Twitter exchange dating back to 2016, the councillor retweeted an Asian junior doctor’s complaint about a new NHS contract and said: “Leave then, plenty of overseas doctors would jump at the chance of working for the best health company in the world, the NHS”.

Councillor Fisher also pledged to boycott a KFC branch in Wednesbury due to it only serving halal bacon. Councillor Fisher, who apologised and stood down after the posts resurfaced, will now return to his previous role.

In one post, Councillor Kalari described the grieving friends of murder victim Sarah Everard as “inbred”. He now stands as an independent councillor.

The appointment of David Fisher, whose deputy has been named as Liam Abrahams, marks a return to business as normal, after both men were elected in last year’s local elections.

However sources within the Conservative party have pointed to ongoing tensions within the local party, with serving councillors aligned with the borough’s three Tory MPs.

Councillor Fisher, who has been described as a close ally of Nicola Richards, MP for West Bromwich East, will now lead an opposition of nine councillors at Sandwell council against Labour. The Sandwell Conservatives are one of the only local Conservative branches in the West Midlands to have gained an additional two seats in Sandwell.

The party also retains a seat in Tividale, after the Conservative councillor Emma Henlan resigned unexpectedly from her seat.

Councillor Fisher said in a statement: “I am delighted to have the support of Sandwell Conservatives to lead the team of existing and new councillors into the coming electoral year. As always, Sandwell Conservatives will continue to scrutinise and hold this Labour-run council to account.”

Councillor Fisher is expected to follow through with the party’s pledges announced in time for the local elections held at the start of May.

They include free car parking across town centres in Sandwell and electing a ‘brownfield first’ building policy.

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