Welwyn Hatfield council candidate voluntarily stepped down ahead of election

Hamish Haddow - Conservatives

Hamish Haddow - Conservatives - Credit: Conservatives

A prospective local election candidate has clarified how he came to resign his candidacy after it was revealed he will no longer be standing for next week's vote for the Hollybush ward of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.

Hamish Haddow had been selected to stand for the Conservative Party but was withdrawn from the slate after concerns were raised about comments he posted on social media.

In the Twitter posts, Mr Haddow made a comment about London Mayor Sadiq Khan, shared a meme about Labour MP Diane Abbott and said he was rooting for Vladimir Putin.

The Labour Party said the posts were offensive while Conservative Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council leader Cllr Tony Kingsbury said the language used was unacceptable, inappropriate and not befitting of a Conservative councillor and a decision was made that Mr Haddow would no longer be a local election candidate.

However, Mr Haddow said he voluntarily resigned as a candidate after the social media posts prompted online abuse of him and he was not removed by the Conservative Party. He also said the fact he had used a winking emoji in one of the posts clearly demonstrated he was joking when he said he was rooting for Mr Putin.

Cllr Kingsbury confirmed that, while the party had discussed possible de-selection, Mr Haddow - who said he remains a member of the Conservative Party - voluntarily stepped down.

For a full list of local election results don't miss next week's edition of the Welwyn and Hatfield Times or visit www.whtimes.co.uk for the latest updates.