Councillor apologises in public to mayor after Facebook slur

Southend Standard: Phil Rackley Phil Rackley

A LEADING Labour councillor has apologised after he posted offensive comments on a social networking website about the Basildon mayoress.

Phil Rackley, the former deputy leader of the Labour group, was called up before a Joint Standards Committee board after mayor Mo Larkin put in an official complaint about a string of “offensive comments” on Facebook.

After two-and-a-half hours of debate the committee, headed up Conservative councillor Tony Archer, found that Mr Rackley had acted in his official capacity as a councillor and that he was in breach of code of conduct and that the comments were disrespectful towards Mrs Larkin.

Mr Rackley admitted he had posted comments under a photo of Mrs Larkin which said she looked like “lamb dressed as mutton” on the site.

Francis Randle, who defended Mr Rackley at the meeting, said the comments were actually “complimentary” and were not meant to be offensive.

Mr Rackley, who was accompanied by his wife Pat Rackley and Lynda Gordon, the former Labour group leader,issued a public apology to Mrs Larkin in the meeting.

He said: “I would like to apologise to the mayor for the comments that I made on the save the Gloucester Park Facebook page.

It was certainly not my intention to cause any offence or distress to the mayor and I very much regret that the mayor felt the need to take the action she has, but understand that this reflects the feeling the mayor had when made aware of my comments.

“I very much regret any distress and upset my taking part in the Facebook caption competition caused and hope that the mayor accepts it was not done to cause her any personal offence or harm the relationship that exists between elected members and the office of mayor of the council.”

The committee decided after Mr Rackley had made the public apology it wouldn’t take any further action and that the apology will appear in the minutes of the meeting.

John Handley, who is Mrs Larkin’s partner acted as her representative in the meeting, said: “Mr Rackley was active in attacking Mrs Larkin during this period last year.

“Some of the comments were hurtful and caused a lot of pain and anxiety and my case is that Mr Rackley’s comments were part of a clever campaign that incited worse comments towards Mrs Larkin. They were very offensive and these comments incited worse remarks.”

Mrs Larkin, who shook Mr Rackley’s hand after the hearing, said afterwards: “I am glad this is all over and that we can finally move on, this should act as a deterrent for people who are using social networking websites to be careful with what they post on them in future.”

Comments (9)

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11:21am Fri 9 Nov 12

Audioman says...

Do not apologise it is a sign of WEAKNESS
Do not apologise it is a sign of WEAKNESS Audioman

11:23am Fri 9 Nov 12

Eric Whim says...

the big fat fool is hardly in a position to slag off others appearance .
the big fat fool is hardly in a position to slag off others appearance . Eric Whim

12:20pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Brunning999 says...

A sign of weakness you Bafoon it is a sign of a real man.

It is not easy to say sorry, he has my respect for a public apology.

Well done mate!
A sign of weakness you Bafoon it is a sign of a real man. It is not easy to say sorry, he has my respect for a public apology. Well done mate! Brunning999

12:20pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Brunning999 says...

A sign of weakness you Bafoon it is a sign of a real man.

It is not easy to say sorry, he has my respect for a public apology.

Well done mate!
A sign of weakness you Bafoon it is a sign of a real man. It is not easy to say sorry, he has my respect for a public apology. Well done mate! Brunning999

12:49pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Eric Whim says...

he had to apologise or he wouldn't have been allowed a seat at yesterday's bunfight at the Bas Centre for the Royal Anglian Regiment march and parade, allegedly
he had to apologise or he wouldn't have been allowed a seat at yesterday's bunfight at the Bas Centre for the Royal Anglian Regiment march and parade, allegedly Eric Whim

1:03pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Kim Gandy says...

Yet another waste of public money on attention seeking puerile politicians who behave like idiots. In politics you need a thick skin as I have found out. People in glass houses also need to drastically review their stone throwing policy and stop wasting police time and public money. In my opinion there is not one member of Basildon council that is worth a light and its time the people of Basildon showed a bit more imagination at the ballot box. These people are buffoons and are constantly making a spectacle of themselves. Grow up and get a life you wastes of space. You don't like the heat get out of the kitchen and stop whinging. Don't dish it out if you can't take it.
Yet another waste of public money on attention seeking puerile politicians who behave like idiots. In politics you need a thick skin as I have found out. People in glass houses also need to drastically review their stone throwing policy and stop wasting police time and public money. In my opinion there is not one member of Basildon council that is worth a light and its time the people of Basildon showed a bit more imagination at the ballot box. These people are buffoons and are constantly making a spectacle of themselves. Grow up and get a life you wastes of space. You don't like the heat get out of the kitchen and stop whinging. Don't dish it out if you can't take it. Kim Gandy

3:32pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Olivia2847 says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
Yet another waste of public money on attention seeking puerile politicians who behave like idiots. In politics you need a thick skin as I have found out. People in glass houses also need to drastically review their stone throwing policy and stop wasting police time and public money. In my opinion there is not one member of Basildon council that is worth a light and its time the people of Basildon showed a bit more imagination at the ballot box. These people are buffoons and are constantly making a spectacle of themselves. Grow up and get a life you wastes of space. You don't like the heat get out of the kitchen and stop whinging. Don't dish it out if you can't take it.
Well done - the whole Council appear to have been drafted in from Emmerdale - and the hat she wore to the march past was pure comedy ...
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: Yet another waste of public money on attention seeking puerile politicians who behave like idiots. In politics you need a thick skin as I have found out. People in glass houses also need to drastically review their stone throwing policy and stop wasting police time and public money. In my opinion there is not one member of Basildon council that is worth a light and its time the people of Basildon showed a bit more imagination at the ballot box. These people are buffoons and are constantly making a spectacle of themselves. Grow up and get a life you wastes of space. You don't like the heat get out of the kitchen and stop whinging. Don't dish it out if you can't take it.[/p][/quote]Well done - the whole Council appear to have been drafted in from Emmerdale - and the hat she wore to the march past was pure comedy ... Olivia2847

3:43pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Eric Whim says...

Olivia2847 wrote:
Kim Gandy wrote:
Yet another waste of public money on attention seeking puerile politicians who behave like idiots. In politics you need a thick skin as I have found out. People in glass houses also need to drastically review their stone throwing policy and stop wasting police time and public money. In my opinion there is not one member of Basildon council that is worth a light and its time the people of Basildon showed a bit more imagination at the ballot box. These people are buffoons and are constantly making a spectacle of themselves. Grow up and get a life you wastes of space. You don't like the heat get out of the kitchen and stop whinging. Don't dish it out if you can't take it.
Well done - the whole Council appear to have been drafted in from Emmerdale - and the hat she wore to the march past was pure comedy ...
she allegedly wanted to wear a porkpie hat but the greedy troughers of the Council would've only eaten it
[quote][p][bold]Olivia2847[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: Yet another waste of public money on attention seeking puerile politicians who behave like idiots. In politics you need a thick skin as I have found out. People in glass houses also need to drastically review their stone throwing policy and stop wasting police time and public money. In my opinion there is not one member of Basildon council that is worth a light and its time the people of Basildon showed a bit more imagination at the ballot box. These people are buffoons and are constantly making a spectacle of themselves. Grow up and get a life you wastes of space. You don't like the heat get out of the kitchen and stop whinging. Don't dish it out if you can't take it.[/p][/quote]Well done - the whole Council appear to have been drafted in from Emmerdale - and the hat she wore to the march past was pure comedy ...[/p][/quote]she allegedly wanted to wear a porkpie hat but the greedy troughers of the Council would've only eaten it Eric Whim

3:53pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Olivia2847 says...

Eric Whim wrote:
Olivia2847 wrote:
Kim Gandy wrote:
Yet another waste of public money on attention seeking puerile politicians who behave like idiots. In politics you need a thick skin as I have found out. People in glass houses also need to drastically review their stone throwing policy and stop wasting police time and public money. In my opinion there is not one member of Basildon council that is worth a light and its time the people of Basildon showed a bit more imagination at the ballot box. These people are buffoons and are constantly making a spectacle of themselves. Grow up and get a life you wastes of space. You don't like the heat get out of the kitchen and stop whinging. Don't dish it out if you can't take it.
Well done - the whole Council appear to have been drafted in from Emmerdale - and the hat she wore to the march past was pure comedy ...
she allegedly wanted to wear a porkpie hat but the greedy troughers of the Council would've only eaten it
Trilby be please when she reads this ...
[quote][p][bold]Eric Whim[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Olivia2847[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: Yet another waste of public money on attention seeking puerile politicians who behave like idiots. In politics you need a thick skin as I have found out. People in glass houses also need to drastically review their stone throwing policy and stop wasting police time and public money. In my opinion there is not one member of Basildon council that is worth a light and its time the people of Basildon showed a bit more imagination at the ballot box. These people are buffoons and are constantly making a spectacle of themselves. Grow up and get a life you wastes of space. You don't like the heat get out of the kitchen and stop whinging. Don't dish it out if you can't take it.[/p][/quote]Well done - the whole Council appear to have been drafted in from Emmerdale - and the hat she wore to the march past was pure comedy ...[/p][/quote]she allegedly wanted to wear a porkpie hat but the greedy troughers of the Council would've only eaten it[/p][/quote]Trilby be please when she reads this ... Olivia2847

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