By Adrian Zorzut, Local Democracy Reporter
A West London councillor faces a conduct hearing after calling Egyptians illiterate and Chinese people “bastards” in a number of social media posts, which have since been deleted.
Kensington and Chelsea Council (RBKC) said councillor Eva Jedut’s actions had brought the council into disrepute and that she failed in her role as a councillor to champion the needs of the whole community.
Cllr Jedut claimed the posts had been taken out of context and that she had been exercising her right to free speech.
She said she supports all her residents and does not discriminate against them.
The West London council launched two separate investigations into the councillor’s conduct following complaints from a group of residents about posts dating back as far as October 2022.
In one post, cllr Jedut – who was expelled from the Labour Party last month and now sits as an independent councillor – referred to “that ‘culture’” in Egypt as not having much love towards living creatures before writing that “most” Egyptians cannot read.
In others, she used wording such as “Muslim supremacy show off” and “taking over” to describe an Islamic cultural event in a church. She later referred to Muslims in the UK as having a “tribal mentality” and retweeted content from a far-right English nationalist account.
In more posts, the councillor accused her own party of supporting Sharia law in the UK, accused refugees of having “no work ethic”, and referred to Chinese people and the Chinese state as “Barbarians” and “b*******” in a post involving alleged animal cruelty.
The council’s acting investigating officer Joyce Golder ruled two other instances did not breach the code of conduct as they were covered by free speech or because the author of a blog post in question could not be established.
Cllr Jedut said her tweets had been “misconstrued”.
She claimed the complainant – who was granted anonymity by the council – had previously mistreated her, which has been strongly denied by them. She said some of her comments were written while she was in a “heightened emotional state” and admitted they could have been worded better.
She also denied calling Egyptians illiterate and said her comment about refugees was related to those who did not want to contribute to society and her posts were an attempt to contribute to the public debate about immigration.
The independent councillor said her comments about China stemmed from her “strong” passion for animal rights and did not imply all Chinese were “bastards”. She said her call for a boycott on Chinese products was a “reasonable response”.
Cllr Jedut said her comment about the Labour Party and Sharia Law was based on her personal experience as a councillor when a Christmas event had allegedly been cancelled because of donkeys were seen as “haram”. She did not provide any evidence to back up this claim.
She said she has since deleted all the posts.
Ms Golder said cllr Jedut’s actions showed intolerance towards people from another culture, was offensive, and cannot be seen as promoting or supporting high standards of conduct.
She said: “It not only goes to the heart of a core function of the council but against the fundamental role of a councillor. These key aspects are to act as a community leader, to champion the needs of residents in the whole community and to put their interests first and to treat all cultures and people with respect, promoting equality and not discriminating unlawfully against any person.”
Ms Golder said much of cllr Jedut’s language in her posts was “inappropriate, disrespectful and intolerant”.
The West London politician faces a conduct hearing at the council today where she could be censured and taken off committees.
Cllr Jedut said: “Islam is not a race. In a truly free and democratic society we must be allowed to critique and debate religions and beliefs. If we are not, then this has a chilling effect on free speech.
“I believe that the tweets in question have been taken out of context to try to represent me as a racist or far-right, when I am not. I support all my residents and do not discriminate between them.”
The Labour Party was contacted for comment but did not respond by the time of publishing.
Pictured top: RBKC councillor Eva Jedut has been suspended by the Labour Party (Picture: RBKC)
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