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Labour councillor who tweeted at 'village idiot' opponent is cleared of breaking code

A CONTROVERSIAL ­councillor who tweeted that his opponent was a village idiot who "needs help" during a political Twitter debate has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Labour councillor Willie Young, who earlier this year tried to have Scottish Government ministers banned from visiting Aberdeen City Council premises, was reported to a public standards watchdog after the comments which the un-named complainer said meant the politician had breached the Councillors' Code of Conduct.

It was claimed the remarks by city finance convener and Bridge Of Don councillor, Mr Young failed to respect the opponent in the debate.

Scottish Public Standards Commissioner Bill Thomson found that the comments "could not amount to a contravention" after being advised it was not an official council Twitter account and did not outline Mr Young's role on the council.

Mr Thomson said: "It was alleged that the respondent had contravened the code, in particular, which deals with treating others with respect. The person complaining alleged that Councillor Young had publicly insulted him by tweeting, 'which village has lost its idiot because you need help',"

He also tweeted that the opponent in the debate should "run along and behave", during the Twitter conversation on a political issue relating to Aberdeen City Council.

Mr Thomson went on: "I was advised by the Monitoring Officer of Aberdeen City Council that the council does not publicly advertise councillors' twitter feeds.

"And councillor Young explained that his twitter feed is a personal account not paid for or promoted by the council.

"The questions which I had to consider were whether or not the complaint was covered by the Code and, if so, whether or not the conduct of the respondent amounted to a breach of his Code obligations.

"Accordingly, having considered the information that arose from my investigation, I concluded that councillor Willie Young had not contravened the Councillors' Code of Conduct."

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Local government

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