Report Date


Case Against

Bay of Colwyn Town Council


Promotion of equality & respect

Case Reference Number




A member of the public complained about a post a Member had shared on social media featuring a mass murderer holding up a sign promoting a supermarket meal deal. It was alleged the Member had used his platform to make an offensive political comment. The Ombudsman determined that an investigation should consider whether the Member may have breached paragraph 6(1)(a) of the Code of Conduct by conducting themselves in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing their office or authority into disrepute.

The investigation found that the post drew attention on social media and in online news articles. The Member had apologised for any offence caused and removed the post immediately claiming that he did not know who the person was in the picture and it had been an erroneous use of clipart and a genuine mistake. The complainant provided no further information.

The Ombudsman considered that suggesting a link between the mass murderer and the meal deal would be an egregious parallel to have been made, and the post and the resultant media attention which referred to the Member’s role as a councillor was suggestive of a breach of paragraph 6(1)(a) of the Code of Conduct. However, the Member claimed that the link was unintentional and although the Ombudsman considered the Member’s explanation for how the post was made lacked credibility, no evidence was provided to the contrary and no information about similar behaviours was provided by the complainant.

The post was wholly inappropriate. However, given the lack of engagement from the complainant, the remorse expressed by the Member, the challenge of disproving his explanation, his co-operation with the investigation, and the immediate removal of the post, it was decided that further investigation would not be in the public interest. The Member was warned to take care when making public posts in future and the investigation was discontinued.