Tory councillor arrested over 'stoning' comments

Gareth Compton was arrested and bailed today
Gareth Compton was arrested and bailed today

By Ian Dunt

A Conservative councillor for Birmingham City has been suspended from the party and arrested after he called for the stoning to death of a newspaper columnist.

Gareth Compton made the remarks about female Muslim Independent commentator Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on Twitter.

"Can someone please stone Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to death? I shan't tell Amnesty if you don't. It would be a blessing, really," he tweeted.

He later apologised for the remark, branding it an "ill-conceived attempt at humour".

But the Conservatives promptly suspended him and the police investigated.

"We can confirm a 38-year-old man from Harborne has been arrested for an offence under section 127 (1a) of the Communications Act of 2003 on suspicion of sending an offensive or indecent message," a West Midlands police spokesperson said.

"He has been bailed pending further inquiries."

A Birmingham City council spokeswoman said: "Any written complaints will be formally considered by the council standards committee to determine if any investigation should be held.

"The committee will also be mindful of any criminal investigations concluded by the police."

Ms Alibhai-Brown is a well respected columnist for the Independent and the Evening Standard, who writes predominantly on race, gender and religious issues. She is a prominent critic of the burkha and also of British foreign policy.


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