The top brass on Southend Council seem to be remarkably sanguine about one of their number consorting with the far right. Despite multiple requests, Tory leader Nigel Holdcroft is yet to outline what action he will be taking after after Scrapbook exposed his colleague Cllr Blaine Robin for attending an organising meeting of the English Defence League.
Holdcroft’s silence is surprising given the damage to community relations in Essex and elsewhere by the EDL, a racist organisation linked to football hooliganism, Northern Irish paramilitaries and other extremist groups across Europe.
For those that missed it on Monday, here is the video of EDL leader Tommy Robinson describing how “proud” he is to have been introduced to Cllr Robin, who he describes as “the first politician I’ve ever met that understands the feeling of his community”:
Rather than explain himself and apologise, Cllr Blaine, meanwhile, is bleating on Facebook that he is being “bullied” by left-wing bloggers, while telling anyone who will listen that he went to the EDL “social event” because he “was curious”. The unfortunate reality is that he had been mixing with the EDL online and offline for some time before he attended their rally.
Facing the voters next year in his ultra-marginal Kursaal ward, rumours of his possible deselection are already swirling off the Essex coast.