Sandwell Conservative leader suspended as offensive Sarah Everard tweet investigated

A Conservative leader in the Black Country has been suspended over abusive tweets that are alleged to have come from his account.

Councillor Laured Kalari is the leader of the Conservative group in Sandwell
Councillor Laured Kalari is the leader of the Conservative group in Sandwell

But the head of Sandwell’s Tory group has furiously denied he made the comments.

It comes just one month after the previous leader of the opposition Sandwell Conservative group stood down after offensive tweets were revealed.

Current leader Councillor Laured Kalari says he will continue to lead the Conservatives on Sandwell Council and is seeking legal advice.

He has strenuously denied making a series of offensive messages on social media posted in 2020 and 2021, which were later deleted.

One post describes the grieving friends of murder victim Sarah Everard as “inbred”. Another describes Labour deputy Angela Rayner as a “yappy ****” and in another a Muslim woman is told “not to get your hijab in a twist”.

The Conservative Party confirmed last night that it was investigating the Rowley councillor.

A spokesperson for the party said: “Laured Kalari has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation.”

Councillor Laured Kalari

But Councillor Kalari said he knew nothing of the social media posts and that he in no way shared the views made in them.

The Tory leader did not respond to repeated requests for a comment from the Express & Star, but posted a statement on Twitter.

He said: “It has recently come to my attention that a number of historic tweets have come to light, claiming to have originated from my Twitter account.

“I categorically deny that these were written by me and the views expressed, which are abhorrent, are not one which I hold.

“The handle from which the tweets claim to have originated do not match the handle on my verified account.

“I will be contacting West Midlands Police and Twitter as well as seeking additional legal advice.

“I will continue to lead Sandwell Conservatives, who are committed to working hard for the people of Sandwell, as well as holding Sandwell Labour to account.”

Conservative MP for West Bromwich East Nicola Richards had earlier said she was “shocked” by the nature of the alleged tweets.

She welcomed her party’s “swift” suspension to allow for an investigation to get to the facts.

Sandwell Council, which is led and dominated by the Labour Party, has been embroiled in a number of recent controversies.

Councillor Kalari replaced former Tory leader Councillor David Fisher, who was forced to resign as Sandwell Conservative leader over offensive social media posts.

And on Wednesday Wednesbury South Councillor Ian Chambers revealed he had decided to defect to the Labour Party.

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