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'Silly girl': Ipswich Conservative's social media attack on Labour councillor

PUBLISHED: 08:30 12 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:27 12 January 2019

Ipswich Borough Council offices, Grafton House Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Borough Council offices, Grafton House Picture: ARCHANT

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An official Conservative Twitter account called an Ipswich councillor a "silly girl" during a heated exchange online, and has neither apologised or explained who made the comment.

Collette Allen, councillor for Ipswich's Bridge ward Picture: IBCCollette Allen, councillor for Ipswich's Bridge ward Picture: IBC

Collette Allen, councillor for Ipswich’s Bridge ward, was involved in a Twitter argument with the Ipswich Conservatives account over the treatment of police officer on duty.

During the argument, the conservative account called her a “silly girl”.

Saving the screenshot of the spat on August 21, 2018, 40-year-old Cllr Allen and recently shared it on social media again.

The comment was made months before Jeremy Corbyn was lambasted for allegedly calling Theresa May a “stupid woman” in parliament.

The original exchange came about in August 2018 after the Conservatives shared a story about police officers being abused while working Picture: TWITTERThe original exchange came about in August 2018 after the Conservatives shared a story about police officers being abused while working Picture: TWITTER

Cllr Allen said: “The anonymity of it is the problem for me.

“Twitter would be a much better place for everyone if everyone was accountable.

“At a time when we are trying to encourage more women into politics, belittling language is counterproductive and unacceptable.

“The Ipswich Conservative party had a Conduct Charter for candidates ahead of last year’s local election, but it does not seem to apply to their official twitter account or to certain councillors.”

The comments are still visible on the Ipswich Conservatives account Picture: TWITTERThe comments are still visible on the Ipswich Conservatives account Picture: TWITTER

Despite pressing the account for a name, no individual admitted to sending the insult.

Jane Basham, an Ipswich Labour Party member, called the Conservative comment “unadulterated sexism” on Twitter.

When approached for comment, Ipswich Conservatives did not know who had made the comment via their official account and were not investigating the incident.

A spokesman for the group said: “There’s no point reopening old wounds.”

Ipswich Labour disagreed, with a spokesman calling the insult a “disparaging remark” to use against a fellow councillor.

They said: “Politicians and political parties earn the right to be heard on social media.

“Perhaps the Twitter account should be handled by someone with the maturity required for it.”

As of January 11, the original conversation thread is still visible on the Ipswich Conservatives account.

Cllr Allen says that she has received offensive material from the public as well, but that this kind of a comment from a political colleague was more extraordinary.

“I had called an account out on blatant Islamophobia, and someone decided to send me a photo of a severed head,” she added.

“Now, I work in a mortuary so I have a stronger stomach than some people when it comes to things like this but it’s still unpleasant.”

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