- Deputy leader of council took snap during opening day for local crematorium
- Operational facility had already performed 400 services for local families. Two grandparents in their eighties were cremated on previous day
- Sitting Lib Dem MP and party HQ refuse to offer comment or support
A Lib Dem defending a marginal seat could become the first casualty of the general election campaign — after taking a mocking selfie in a crematorium and then uploading the snap to Facebook and the dating app Tinder.
Redcar and Cleveland Council’s deputy leader Josh Mason — who is vying to defend the 5,000 majority of retiring Redcar MP Ian Swales — can clearly be seen pulling a face as he stands in front of the crematorium furnace in Kirkleatham, Teesside.
The hugely disrespectful snap, obtained exclusively by Political Scrapbook, was taken just minutes after the facility was dedicated in a ceremony by the Bishop of Whitby. Cllr Mason is understood to have sneaked away from a tour group to take the picture in front of the hatch into which caskets are placed.
A spokesman for the crematorium told Scrapbook:
“We tell people when we’re going round that, due to the nature of the services we carry out in the crematorium that it should be treated with the dignity and respect that it deserves
While no services took place on the day of the official opening, Mason was well aware that the facility had already been in operation for months, carrying out some 400 cremations — including that of two elderly grandparents the previous day.
And if there could be any doubt that he was taking the mickey, images posted elsewhere demonstrate quite clearly that Mason was pulling was his ‘amusing selfie face’:
While both Ian Swales and Lib Dem HQ have refused to comment on the matter or offer public support to Mason, the candidate has issued the following statement:
“Being born and bred in Redcar and Cleveland, I imagine that one day, Yearby Crematorium will be my own final destination. My visit there was a stark reminder of our shared mortality.
“Indeed, I have already said a last ‘goodbye’ to a number of family friends and colleagues there.
“Nevertheless, I deeply regret any offence I may have caused.”
That’s not even an apology.