Hastings Conservative party investigation into candidate’s ‘offensive comments’

The Hastings and Rye Conservative Association says it has instigated an urgent investigation into ‘offensive comments made on social media’ by a candidate standing in the borough council election.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 2:06 pm

John Sydes has been criticised for a series of tweets he wrote in March commenting on race and the ‘race card’.

Mr Sydes is standing as a Conservative party candidate in Hastings Borough Council’s Castle ward in next Thursday’s (May 6) election.

His social media comments were raised with Hastings and Rye MP Sally-Ann Hart, at which point the constituency’s Conservative association ‘instigated an urgent investigation’ into the matter, according to Martin Clarke, chairman of the Hastings and Rye Conservatives.

John Sydes. Picture supplied by Hastings and Rye Conservatives SUS-210429-135156001
John Sydes. Picture supplied by Hastings and Rye Conservatives SUS-210429-135156001

Mr Clarke said: “We have been made aware of offensive comments on social media by John Sydes, a candidate for borough council in Castle Ward. Offensive language is unacceptable, and these comments do not reflect our values as an association or as a party. Therefore we have instigated an urgent investigation into this matter.

“I have spoken to John and made him aware that these comments are unacceptable. He clarified that these comments do not reflect his true beliefs and that he has apologised to the association and to the public for any offense caused. Whilst it is easy for people to make political capital from screen shots taken out of context John agrees that any of these which could cause offense are not acceptable.

“The Hastings and Rye Conservative Association has always prided itself on being a welcome environment for people of all backgrounds and beliefs. We will continue to support the diversity that makes Hastings strong.”