Bognor councillor accused of anti-Semitism resigns from Labour Party

A Bognor Regis town councillor accused of posting anti-Semitic comments on social media has resigned from Labour, the local constituency party has confirmed.

Wednesday, 1st August 2018, 1:52 pm
Updated Friday, 31st August 2018, 5:05 pm
Damien Enticott pictured earlier this year
Damien Enticott pictured earlier this year

The comments which appeared on the Facebook page of Labour councillor Damien Enticott, who was elected for the Hatherleigh ward in February, have since been deleted but not before being widely shared on social media on Friday.

Other older posts on the Facebook page appeared to show support for transphobic and sexist views.

The national Labour Party confirmed on Friday Cllr Enticott had been suspended pending an investigation.

But the Bognor Regis and Littlehampton Constituency Labour Party said today Cllr Enticott had resigned from the Labour Party.

In a statement the CLP said: “Bognor Regis and Littlehampton Constituency Labour Party can confirm that Damien Enticott has resigned from membership of the Labour Party.

“Members of the Labour Party join to tackle prejudice, injustice and to celebrate diversity, so we take these issues very seriously.

“Anti-Semitism or any form of discrimination has absolutely no place in the party. We remain committed to challenging and campaigning against it in all its forms.”

In a statement released earlier this week, Cllr Enticott said he accepted he had posted all the articles in question on Facebook.

He apologised for the comment labelled anti-Semitic by others as a ‘misinterpretation of the religion’ on his part, while another comment was ‘made out of frustration at seeing unarmed civilians being shot by Israeli soldiers’.

He added: “I am anti-Zionist not anti-Semitic.”

He denied being transphobic, explaining: “Although I do believe in equality and people being allowed to express themselves in any way they want I only believe this is okay when it isn’t forced on other people.”

Cllr Enticott continued: “I have people who spend there lives doing nothing positive; people who only troll Facebook with negativity thinking that their comments are valid yet I volunteer a lot of my time to help others around me.

“I have simply become a part of a national smear campaign that is being used to attack Labour and my only intention in politics was for my local community.

“I have received a suspension from the Labour Party as a result of the posts I have made. I do believe that The Labour Party will do the right thing and reinstate me, however, I will not be attending any courses if requested to do so.

“If I am expelled my intentions will be to continue on the Bognor Regis town council independently.

“Lastly I will continue to express myself freely for my electorate and my apologies will only be to the people of Hatherleigh ward if requested. It is only the residents of Hatherleigh ward that I truly represent as a councillor and who I am accountable to.”