Councillor criticised for tweet about Batley’s murdered MP Jo Cox

INSPIRATION: Jo Cox was inspired by moral passion and had 'much more to give'
INSPIRATION: Jo Cox was inspired by moral passion and had 'much more to give'

A Conservative councillor has been criticised for a “vile” tweet he posted about the murdered MP Jo Cox.

Liam Billington tweeted “anyone would have thought Jo Cox was a saint” after Boris Johnson infuriated MPs with his language in Parliament.

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Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne described the tweet as “beneath contempt” while Labour MP Angela Rayner said it was “vile”.

The Stalybridge councillor has apologised and deleted the tweet.

Mr Billington said the comment “was not made against Jo Cox” but rather “aimed at MPs in Parliament who were using her name in yesterday’s Brexit debate”.

“I should have made this clearer,” he said.

He added that he “apologised profusely” for any upset caused “as this was not my intention” and he “absolutely detested what happened to her”.

TRAGIC LOSS: Batley MP Jo Cox was murdered during the EU referendum campaign in 2016

Mr Billington made the comment following a debate in which the prime minister said the best way to honour the Batley MP, who was murdered during the EU referendum campaign, was to get “Brexit done”.

Ms Rayner, MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, described the tweet as “vile, disgusting, repulsive and hateful”.

Sir Swayne, New Forest West MP said: “I think she was a saint, and a fantastic individual.

“She was genuinely nice, she was so committed, pleasant to be around and passionate in her support of the most vulnerable people.”

People also reacted on Twitter, including constituent David Munday who said the comment from his local councillor was “shameful and harmful rhetoric”.

It is not the first time the councillor’s online conduct has sparked controversy.

He was accused of taunting another Tameside councillor with images of Britney Spears during a council meeting in 2017.

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