'No further action' after Doncaster council worker tweets meme of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbles after local elections

Doncaster Council will take no further action after an employee tweeted a meme of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbles following local election results.

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 6:00 am

Independent councillor Sean Gibbons, who was elected again in the Mexborough ward said the Doncaster Council employee posted a picture of Goebbles which had the caption: “Accuse the other side of which you are guilty.”

Coun Gibbons lodged a formal complaint over the matter and said the post was tweeted a day after Mexborough First beat all three of Labour’s candidates in the ward.

The tweet read: “Nothing has changed and nothing will, and people wonder why. Tories in disguise. #Mexborough.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Doncaster Council's civic offices at Waterdale

The councillor also said the employee had been out canvassing for Labour during the election campaign.

But in an email seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, DMBC monitoring officer Scott Fawcus said that the employee is a junior member of staff and ‘does not occupy a politically restricted post as set out in law’.

Mr Fawcus added: “The twitter account does not identify them as being a DMBC (Doncaster Council) employee and therefore does not reflect upon the organisation.

“As much as I may personally not approve of their content, the tweets are not a disciplinary matter for their employer to become involved in. I understand that having now seen the potential for offence (the person in question) has since deleted the tweets.

Sean Gibbons complained about the tweet

“The council does have a social media policy and guidance for employees and intend to do some reminder work with staff on the implications of posting on sensitive subjects and the potential reputational issues which may arise from that.”

In response, Coun Gibbons said: “I have to say that despite your response below and explanations of the authority’s position on this serious matter and assurances, I am not at all happy with your conclusions.

“The fact (the person in question) is a junior member of staff and does not occupy a politically restricted post makes no difference to the fact that this tweet he posted on May 7, 2021 is wholly unacceptable and offensive.”

The Labour party has been contacted for comment.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.