News And Finally

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Council leader Hitler dress row

The leader of a borough council defended his decision to go to a fancy dress party dressed as Adolf Hitler
The leader of a borough council defended his decision to go to a fancy dress party dressed as Adolf Hitler

The leader of a borough council defended his decision to go to a fancy dress party dressed as Adolf Hitler.

Mike Gardner, the leader of Harrogate Borough Council, was pictured giving a Nazi salute at a fancy dress party.

He said he had done "nothing wrong" and had checked with the organisers of the party to make sure he was not offending anybody.

Mr Gardner said he was attending a private party last May and the theme was figures from the year you were born. He said: "I was born in the war. My father was a pilot in the RAF and my mother worked in a munitions factory. My family were deeply affected. Hitler was an iconic figure."

Mr Gardner added: "If a person can't have a bit of fun. I have not offended anybody. This was a private party.

"A lot of people present were members of the Armed forces or joined the MoD since. I carefully checked with them not to offend them. I didn't offend them. I have not done anything wrong. I haven't broken any code of conduct."

A spokesman for the Conservative Party said he had been suspended pending an investigation into his conduct. Mr Gardner responded: "They haven't told me."

The images were made public after being taken from a Facebook page, an action which Mr Gardner claimed was politically motivated.

He said a political enemy was "trying to stab me in the back" by releasing the pictures many months after the event.

No-one from the council was available for comment.

Press Association

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