A police boss who branded travellers as ‘p***ys’ has been forced to apologise after comments he made seven years ago were spotted on Facebook.
Jason Ablewhite, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire, was pulled up on the messages shortly before he was elected in May 2016.
As well as travellers, the 44-year-old made remarks about ‘Spanish asylum seekers’ found in an ‘inflatable grotto lorry’ in a thread of private messages in 2009.
The former executive leader of Huntingdonshire District Council claimed that the comments were just ‘banter’.
He also denied having any ‘hate’ for any groups of people.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) came to the conclusion that the incident did not need to be investigated, however a county police and crime panel has called on him to apologise.
As well as the apology, the panel has asked the boss to send a written apology, invite the complainant to a meeting and engage with representatives of the traveller community.
He has agreed to follow up on all three of the panel’s recommendations.
Mr Ablewhite said: ‘I am pleased that the review of this complaint has now been concluded and I accept the recommendations the panel have made.
‘My position remains the same regarding the comments I made. I do accept that comments between myself and fellow councillors on Facebook in 2009 can be interpreted as offensive and I have apologised.
‘I have now been in the job nearly six months and I have been hugely impressed by the dedication and passion of those I have met across the Constabulary.
‘There are also many challenges ahead.
‘Moving forward, it is important we focus on building on these strengths and responding to the challenges.’