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18th May 2017

UK politician apologises unreservedly and resigns over “f’king gypsies” Eurovision tweet about Ireland

Conor Heneghan

Nick Harrington

Hardly a huge surprise.

Warwick Tory Counsellor Nick Harrington has resigned following a controversial tweet about Ireland he posted during the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday night.

In the most controversial of a number of controversial tweets posted during the contest on Saturday night, Harrington reacted to Irish jury members failing to give a single point to the UK with the tweet below.

Naturally enough, the tweet provoked a stream of outrage and prompted Harrington to delete his account, but with screenshots of the tweet popping up all over the Internet, Harrington was duly suspended.

On Wednesday afternoon, he announced his decision to resign; his offensive tweet about Ireland, meanwhile, is still the subject of a police investigation.

In a statement, Harrington said: “To the residents of Stoneleigh and Cubbington Ward,

“On Saturday 13th May 2017, whilst watching the Eurovision Song Contest, I thoughtlessly sent a tweet that caused considerable offence to both members of the Traveller community and to those of Irish heritage.

“I apologise unreservedly. My comments about the Irish border were also foolish. In addition there have been comments about my Facebook post of an entry in a scarecrow competition last year which was based on the Olympics. I accept this was ill-judged for which I apologise to Christine Ohuruogu.

“Therefore it is with deep regret that I formally tender my resignation as Member for Stoneleigh and Cubbington Ward effective immediately.

“I am devastated that I have caused these events and apologise unreservedly to all constituents of Stoneleigh and Cubbington Ward and to the wider public for the offence I have caused.

“It has been an honour and privilege to serve as a Councillor supporting the residents of Stoneleigh and Cubbington and I wish the next elected Member every success working with the dedicated and hardworking Clerks and Parish Councillors in the Ward.”

Leader of Warwick district council, councillor Andrew Mobbs, also released a statement on Harrington’s resignation, which read: “I can confirm that Nick Harrington has resigned from his role as Ward Councillor for Stoneleigh and Cubbington Ward today (Wednesday 17th May) and I also understand that he has resigned from his role as a Councillor on Weston Under Wetherley Parish Council. I believe his resignation to be entirely appropriate. He is, however, still under investigation by the Police who will no doubt update us as soon as they have made their report.

“I am very disappointed that his comment was made in the first place and by the reaction it generated towards the district council on social media.

“Nick Harrington was not an employee of Warwick District Council and so I would like to add that his attitude and comments are in no way supported by the district council, or are in any way a reflection on the progressive and dedicated staff that work for the council.”