Police look into ‘racist’ comments by councillor

 

A Conservative councillor who warned that a Travellers’ site would end up looking like “My big fat Gypsy cesspit” is to have his comments assessed by police.

Mark Coxshall, a member of Thurrock Council, made the remarks in relation to a planning application for a site at Stanford -le-Hope, Essex. He welcomed the council’s decision to block the application but said delays had allowed the Travellers to “bed in”.

“We all know what happens next: they start building walls and fences and we end up with a section of Stanford that looks like a cross between ‘my big fat Gypsy cesspit’ and Shameless,” Mr Coxshall said in a press release.

Travellers’ groups said the comments were racist and complained to the council. Yesterday, Essex Police confirmed it was studying  hate-crime allegations. “We are  ascertaining whether any criminal offence has been committed,” the force said in a statement.

Mr Coxshall said: “I utterly refute any suggestion that the comments I have made are in any way racist.