By Beau Pergusey
Swindon Village councillor, Flo Clucas, has caused upset after retweeting an article last week from The Independent titled, ‘If you voted to leave the EU, don’t bother wearing a poppy’.
The now deleted tweet came just days before Remembrance Sunday and has left some members of the public and other council members in confusion as to why Councillor Clucas would re-tweet something so controversial in a time of reflection about those involved in war.
When asked about the possible implications of the offending tweet and how a resident of Swindon Village would feel if they had voted leave and wanted to wear a poppy, Clucas replied ‘I tweeted a link to an article from the Independent website, the content of which I do not endorse. A political opponent Photoshopped my tweet to make it appear otherwise.’ A similar response was received from fellow Lib-Dem and Leader of the council Steve Jordan ‘ To avoid confusion, Councillor Flo Clucas hasn’t endorsed the article you refer to. All she did was tweet a link to this article… without any comment on the content. However, there was some subsequent malicious editing by a local conservative who tried to pretend the line was a quote from Cllr Clucas rather than the headline from the article.’
The political opponent mentioned is twitter user @suburban gull who did crop the original tweet to make it seem that Clucas made the statement by herself. However, Councillor Clucas has since tweeted the link to the article once again, this time explaining who wrote the article and where it originally came from.
Tory Councillor Chris Nelson was left upset by Councillor Clucas’s actions saying, ‘I was deeply disappointed to see the twitter storm started by Flo Clucas suggesting that those who voted to Leave the European Union should not wear poppies – and I speak as one who voted to Remain, as a politician and as a soldier who has fought in a war and lost friends. Although she now seems to be backtracking on what she tweeted, she continues to send out confusing messages and quite honestly, I am not sure what she really thinks… politicians should never hijack The Poppy. It is now some 18 months since the Referendum and politicians should be working hard to bring the two communities together rather than gratuitously insult all those who voted to Leave the EU!”
It’s clear to see that the move to tweet the article so close to Remembrance Sunday has come across as politicizing the commemoration of the all those involved in war. We contacted the Cheltenham Branch of the Royal Legion but didn’t receive a response regarding the matter.