Page last updated at 12:16 GMT, Friday, 27 February 2009

Nazi costume councillor suspended

Sean Aspey dressed as a Nazi
Sean Aspey posted the picture on his Facebook site

A Liberal Democrat town councillor who dressed as a Nazi officer for a fancy dress party has been suspended by his local party.

Sean Aspey posed for photos at his 40th birthday party last year themed on the comedy 'Allo 'Allo set in Nazi-occupied France and posted them on Facebook.

The issue has caused controversy at Porthcawl town council, Bridgend.

Mr Aspey, who is said to have called the criticism "political correctness," has been contacted for comment.

He has faced calls to resign for bringing the Conservative-controlled council into disrepute.

Local Lib Dem party chiefs suspended him temporarily while an internal inquiry into the affair is carried out.

All images of him appeared to have been removed from the website.

But the photographs, showing a grinning Nazi-uniformed Mr Aspey wearing a monocle, had already appeared in a number of newspapers.

The images were taken at the party at a Porthcawl pub in March last year.

This is not the standard you expect of someone who holds public office
David Deere, Porthcawl council member

The event took place two months before he was elected a Liberal Democrat councillor on the 19-member council.

Conservative council member David Deere said: "I just feel that he needs to consider his position on Porthcawl town council.

"This is totally inappropriate behaviour and very offensive."

He said council members in general were "all quite appalled".

He added: "This is not the standard you expect of someone who holds public office. I think that the general feeling is that he has brought the council into disrepute."

'Political correctness'

Mike Clarke, chairman of the Bridgend branch of the Liberal Democrats, said: "We have taken the action of temporarily suspending Mr Aspey from the party pending an internal inquiry.

"We take any allegations of impropriety very seriously and the local party will be looking in greater detail at the situation and coming to a decision on Mr Aspey's future within the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

"Of course, we have to act in as fair a manner as possible and within the terms of our own constitution."

Mr Aspey was contacted for comment but could not be reached.

However, speaking to his local weekly newspaper, the Glamorgan Gazette, he said he believed the criticism was an issue of "political correctness".

He said people attending the private party had all dressed as characters from 'Allo 'Allo, which he said was a family programme still shown on television.

He added he would understand if he had caused offence wearing the costume along the town's promenade but insisted the party had been private.

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