Ipswich councillor Shayne Pooley suspended by Conservatives for three months after making remarks supporting Russia's invasion of Ukraine on social media
A Conservative councillor from Ipswich has been suspended for three months after comments on social media reportedly showed him supporting the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Shayne Pooley, who represents the Gainsborough Ward for Ipswich Borough Council, made the remarks last month and was immediately suspended by Ipswich Conservatives.
Mr Pooley has been acting has an Independent councillor since then, and will continue to do so during his suspension from the party.
In a decision taken by the executive committee of the Ipswich Conservatives, they also said a further meeting will take place in June to decide whether to re-admit him to the party, depending on his conduct over the next three months.
Mr Pooley will also undertake social media training, while his activity will also be monitored.
Ian Fisher, Conservative leader at Ipswich Borough Council, said: "The Association listened to Cllr Pooley’s explanation of events and took into consideration his immediate removal of the offending posts and public apology.
"Cllr Pooley was recently elected and now has a better understanding of his role in the community. The world would be a far worse place if we did not accept that someone can make a mistake, apologise for their actions and move forward.
"I have spoken with Cllr Pooley, who suggested that he would like to do some work within the community, possibly with refugees, which I will help organise.
"Once he has done this, and dependent on the Association’s decision in June, then he will be re-admitted to our group at Ipswich Borough Council.”
In a statement, Cllr Pooley said that he does not support Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I now realise being potentially too open-minded in terms of debating about a sensitive story is not something I should have written about on my social media," he said.
"I stood as a councillor in my local seat because I love to help people and would never dream of seeing anybody hurt, especially through the act of war.
"I do not support Putin; I do support good defeating evil. I hope good wins overall and has the best possible outcome for the world and I pray the horrific war in Ukraine gets a swift and peaceful resolution.”