A row has broken out after Trafford’s Conservative group leader rebranded a council newsletter as communist propaganda.
Coun Nathan Evans took to Twitter yesterday (Tuesday March 29) to share a photoshopped image of a council residents’ newsletter that he entitled ‘Pravda’.
Pravda (Russian for ‘truth’) was the name of the Russian state-owned newspaper that distributed communist ideology from when Lenin was in power in 1912 up until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Notorious dictator Joseph Stalin also used the paper to spread extreme ideology through propaganda during his time in power.
Coun Evans is understood to have concerns about the newsletter over alleged breaches of pre-election restrictions that prevent the council from publishing any material that could be interpreted as political.
It has been confirmed the printing of the newsletter in question was completed by Wednesday March 23 and was due to be delivered by post within two or three days to residents, before the official pre-election period kicked in on Monday March 28 at 4pm.
The newsletter contained information for residents, including covid safety information, adult social care news and foster care information.
Coun Evans captioned his photoshopped ‘Pravda’ image and said: “There you go Trafford council, I’ve fixed the front of your rag propaganda. I am told it cost £52,000 of tax payers money not my originally claimed £200,000 but I have my doubts and asked for more details.”
The move has sparked fury among other Trafford councillors.
Coun Mike Freeman, Labor executive member for covid recovery, responded: “You sink to even new lower depths than the sewer. You are the problem. You snipe away from the sidelines. It’s all you ever do. Never ever anything constructive from you or your councillors. The tweet reflects badly on you and demonstrates why you are unfit to run the council. Tasteless and wholly inappropriate too.”
Coun Evans retorted: “Clearly struck a nerve Mike. Let’s see what the electoral commission says.”
Coun Michael Welton, of the Greens, wrote: “You have read the new councilor code of conduct, haven’t you? ‘Behaviour that is considered dishonest and/or deceitful can bring the council into disrepute.’”
Other Twitter users weren’t too impressed either.
Twitter user ScareyJoe said: “So that’s about 50p per household to give the residents of Trafford some useful information? Will you be doing your utmost to correct the £200,000 figure which is now circulating? Thought not.”
Rhiannon Roberts said: “Given the current world situation, this feels really insensitive and inflammatory – am disappointed to see this from an official account.”
Coun Evans was contacted for further comment, but had not responded at the time of writing.
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