A Conservative Bury councillor has had the whip removed after allegedly suggesting it could be difficult to speak to residents unless “you re able to speak Hebrew”.
Cllr Robert Caserta, who represents Pilkington Park ward on Bury Council, was reported to have used “inappropriate language” while sitting on an interview panel in July last year.
Among the comments reportedly said by the councillor was a claim that it would be difficult to speak to residents “unless you are able to speak Hebrew.”
Now the leader of the conservative group on the council, Cllr Nick Jones, and MP Christian Wakeford, have slammed the comments as “at best inappropriate and deeply offensive and at worst could be construed as antisemitic.”
“We consider antisemitism in all its forms abhorrent and will continue to call it out wherever it is found, including within our own Party,” they said in a joint statement.
“Cllr Caserta’s comments were at best inappropriate and deeply offensive and at worst could be construed as antisemitic, so it is right that prompt action is taken.
“We have acted as a matter of urgency and immediately removed the whip from Cllr Caserta pending a full investigation into this matter.”
The councillor had previously appeared before a Council Standards Sub-Committee, where he was found to have used “language that was disrespectful and wholly inappropriate.”
He was ordered to write a formal apology to a fellow councillor.
He was previously asked to apologise for writing an email to a Labour councillor, who is Jewish, asking whether she would consider her position with the Labour Party as some of its members had expressed antisemitic sentiment.
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