Labour candidate suspended over offensive ‘n****e* Coronation tweet wins council seat

·2-min read
 (ES Composite)
(ES Composite)

A Darlington Labour party candidate in Thursday’s local elections who was suspended after posting an “offensive” tweet about the coronation has won his seat.

David Beckett stood for the Brinkburn and Faverdale ward in Darlington, a market town in Durham County, and won a seat with 949 votes in Thursday’s local election.

He had stood as a Labour party candidate, appearing as such on the ballot paper.

But he was suspended from the party after allegedly writing: “Are we seriously being asked to swear that we will ‘pledge allegiance to his Majesty, [his] heirs and successors according to law’?

“There isn’t a chance in hell of me giving such an affirmation to a n***e”.

It is unclear who Mr Beckett was referring to.

Despite appearing on the ballot paper as a Labour candidate due to the timing of the suspension, Mr Beckett could now sit as an independent.

The volunteer counsellor has since deleted his Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, following condemnation over the comments.

Darlington Labour earlier confirmed to the Standard that Mr Beckett has been suspended from the party regarding his “conduct on social media”.

The party was notified by Labour’s Governance and Legal Unit.

“Darlington Labour do not agree with or endorse the comments made by this individual in this case,” it said in a statement.

“We hold our councillors and candidates to a high standard and apologise unequivocally for the offence caused in this instance.

“We will not be commenting further on this individual case any further, while this investigation is ongoing.”

The Coronation on Saturday will include the first Homage of the People - a modern addition to the ancient ceremony that will see people across the UK and overseas realms invited to swear an oath of allegiance to King Charles III.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has emphasised that no-one would be forced to take such an oath.

The Republic, which campaigns for the abolition of the monarchy, has branded it “offensive, tone deaf and a gesture that holds the people in contempt”.

Mr Beckett said he was a bereavement support volunteer with charity Cruse Support, a volunteer counsellor and registered member of the British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

Cruse Support declined to comment. BACP have been approached.

The Conservatives were on course for a significant drubbing at the polls by Friday afternoon, with the party losing 370 councillors so far.

The party lost key stronghold councils such as Swindon and Medway, as Labour and the Lib Dems made significant gains.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the party is “going to bottle this feeling we have today” and “turn it into a General Election win next year”.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was “disappointed” at losing some councillors but sought to highlight where his party was doing better.

The results in 109 out of 230 councils have so far been declared.