Former Conservative councillor faces a trial over "offensive" tweet about Sadiq Khan

 
James Nickerson
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A former Conservative councillor will be standing trial next month, accused of posting an "offensive" tweet about Labour's London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan.

Jim Buckley, 60, will face trial after sending the tweet about Khan, which said: "Your next London Mayor? You think his corner shop would be open on a Saturday?"

Buckley's local Conservative party suspended him after he sent the message, which he deleted. He remains an independent candidate.

Read more: Goldsmith paid 35 times as much tax as Khan last year

At Leamington Spa Magistrates’ Court yesterday, Buckley confirmed that he had sent the tweet, and entered a plea of not guilty. He will appear before the court for trail on 11 March.

The charge against him is brought under the 2003 Communications Act, which alleges the tweet was "grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character".

If found guilty, Buckley could be sentenced to six months in prison or receive a fine, or both.

However, the Rugby Observer reported that his solicitor, Mohammad Farooq, told the court: "My client accepts sending the tweet. However, he would argue that there is a fine line between sending something which is insensitive and something which is grossly offensive."

Khan is currently in a race to City Hall against Conservative Zac Goldsmith, with the election to be held in May.

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