A Kent Tory councillor has been suspended after pictures of him at a fascist rally were circulated online by the charity Hope not Hate.
Councillor Andy Weatherhead represents Hythe West on Kent County Council and ran for UKIP four times before becoming first a member and then a councillor in the Tory Party.
He is currently under investigation by the national party Chairman Nadhim Zahawi.
Following our revelations last night, Cllr Andy Weatherhead has been suspended from the Conservative Party pending an investigation.
Yesterday, we revealed Weatherhead had previously held 2 senior positions in the fascist New British Union.https://t.co/OAYcyVWJu3
— HOPE not hate (@hopenothate) November 16, 2022
One of the pictures was taken in 2013 outside the Greek Embassy at a rally organised by the far-right New British Union (NBU) in support of the neo-fascist Golden Dawn. In 2020 the Greek government banned Golden Dawn, for carrying out violent attacks on immigrants and ethnic minorities.
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On his left arm Cllr Weatherhead has a symbol of a lightning bolt within a white circle that was used by the British Union of Fascists in the thirties.
Another photo shows Weatherhead at the inaugural NBU conference the same year surrounded by fascist paraphernalia.
Tory Councillor Andy Weatherhead: ‘I completely agree that the optics of these pictures is poor.’
The pictures: pic.twitter.com/SZ78DuemHr
— Great Editor (@simonchilds13) November 18, 2022
Hope not Hate has described him as a “senior officer for the openly fascist New British Union,” said that he was the policy officer of the group and that he made a speech at the conference.
In response, Weatherhead has said he attended two events in person, adding, “I completely agree that the optic of these pictures is poor and potentially upsetting for some. For this I can and do sincerely apologise.”
The revelation comes just weeks after a far-right petrol bomber, Andrew Leak, attacked a migrant centre in Dover after tweeting that he planned to “obliterate Muslim children.”
In October last year Leak said, “I will end illegal immigration into this country within one year from the French boat side,” in reference to the small boats carrying refugees which cross the English Channel.