A councillor who called British soldiers “hired killers” is facing disciplinary action from his own party.
The Green Party yesterday confirmed they will start a disciplinary process after Councillor Ben Duncan made his controversially tweet during Armed Forces Day.
In the tweet he stated: “Armed Forces Day has certainly brought the hired killers on to the streets of #Brighton today. Hard to explain to my son”.
A spokesman for the Green Party said: “In light of the Twitter comments made by Councillor Ben Duncan on Saturday, the Green Party of Brighton and Hove has started a formal disciplinary process.
“A panel will now be formed to determine what, if any, further action is warranted.”
Coun Duncan has faced calls to resign after a series of controversial tweets – including false allegations of a councillor wearing a swastika.
He also caused shock in 2012 by tweeting: “I only smoke weed when I’m murdering, raping and looting”.
He apologised on Monday over the Armed Forces comments.
He tweeted: “Apols for offence caused by tweet re soldiers on streets. Many will have been remembering loved ones who died and it was insensitive to their loss”. Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, called his comments “unacceptable”. She said: “I immediately called on him to apologise for the offence and distress he has caused. I also called on the local Green party to take disciplinary action.
“Personally I think he should no longer sit alongside the Green Group on the council.
“I have a huge appreciation for the role of the men and women of our armed forces. Cllr Duncan’s comments do not reflect the Green Party’s position or mine.
“Although my own role is separate from that of the city council, I’d like to offer my own sincere apologies for the distress Coun Duncan’s insensitive comments have caused.”
l Bereaved mothers who lost sons in war are “appalled” by the comments.
Some expressed the desire for a sit-down meeting with Coun Duncan.
Jacqui Janes, of Portslade, who lost her son Jamie, of the 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards, in Afghanistan in 2009, said: “This man needs sacking now. All the military families are up in arms.
“There are quite a few military mothers in Brighton and he must be aware there are people who have lost their lives from the city.”
She vowed a mass gathering of military families if Mr Duncan does not step down.
Carol Brackpool, 59, from Crawley, who lost her son John, of the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment, Welsh Guards, in Afghanistan in 2009, said: “I cannot believe people would call our troops killers when they fight for free speech.
“My son went into the army to fight for his Queen and country so people like Ben Duncan can sleep safely in their bed at night.”
Carol Valentine, 55, who lost son Simon, of the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in Afghanistan, said: “A councillor is supposed to represent the public.”