Tory Walsall councillor suspended over 'racist comments on social media'

A Black Country councillor has been suspended by the Conservative Party after she said that starvation in Africa was “nature’s way of depopulation”.

Conservative Councillor Vera Waters
Conservative Councillor Vera Waters

Vera Waters is among a number of serving and former councillors around the country to have been sanctioned by the party for allegedly posting racist material on social media.

In a Facebook post before she was elected in 2017, Mrs Walters endorsed a suggestion that all aid to Africa and all immigration from Africa should stop, to let “mother nature take her course”.

She responded: “I totally agree with you. It’s nature’s way of depopulation.”

One of Vera Waters' comments on Facebook

Mrs Waters represents Rushall-Shelfied on Walsall Council and was first elected last year.

She also sits on the audit risk and assurance committee of the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Her comments were included in a dossier put together by an anonymous Twitter user and sent to Tory Party HQ.

Other posts recorded include a parish councillor describing Muslims as “the enemy within” and a Conservative association chairman who liked Facebook comments urging migrants to “go back to where they came from”.

The Conservative Party said all those found to be party members had been suspended immediately.

“The swift action we take on not just anti-Muslim discrimination, but discrimination of any kind is testament to the seriousness with which we take such issues,” a spokesman added.

“The Conservative party will never stand by when it comes to prejudice and discrimination of any kind.

“That’s why we are already establishing the terms of an investigation to make sure that such instances are isolated and robust processes are in place to stamp them out as and when they occur.”

It comes after Boris Johnson vowed to root out prejudice of all kind in his party.

In an interview with the Express & Star on Monday, he said: "I do think everybody in politics needs to work to stamp out prejudice, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism.

"We are dedicated to doing that in the Tory party, and if you look at the spread of our candidates I am proud to say they are drawn from everywhere.

"We are adopting Muslim candidates for safe seats and we have got the first Muslim chancellor in the history of this country."

Mike Bird, the Conservative leader of Walsall Council, said: "Vera is an exceptionally good ward councillor. Her comments, which were made before she was elected, are not, in my view, a fair representation of the person I know.

"She is a compassionate person and I know she embraces Conservative values."

Mrs Waters was unavailable for comment today.

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