Mayor Jason Perry is ignoring appeals from minority groups and a refugee support organisation and is going ahead with plans to attend a meeting tonight organised by a group which includes racists and Islamophobes.
The Croydon Communities [sic] Consortium has in the past been ordered to repay thousands of pounds from a council grant, seen the Borough Commander ban police officers from attending its events, and it is now the subject of a formal complaint over anti-Muslim conduct.
While the Mayor refuses to give an interview to Inside Croydon (3million page views in 2022; according to our online poll, many readers believe that Perry is afraid to face proper questioning), he has agreed to attend a zoom meeting organised by fringe organisation CCC.
CCC’s last annual meeting in 2022 was attended by just eight people.
At that meeting, CCC re-elected to its committee Clive Locke, whose racist activity on social media saw him forced to resign from the same body in 2014.
Locke appears not to have moderated his views, nor learned any lessons, from the last time he was discomfited by being plastered all over the Croydon Sadvertiser for his use of an anti-Muslim “Tick Tock” meme. As recently as November, Locke was using social media to post further anti-refugee bile.
Locke has used a series of social media identities and accounts. He continues to use a Twitter account @Rollerfourwheel from which he was sending threatening, anti-Muslim tweets eight years ago.
But then CCC has long been a haven for the far-right, as well as racists, UKippers and outright cranks.
Like Locke, another who was warmly welcomed at CCC events by the organisation’s chair, Elizabeth Ash, was Peter Morgan.
The conduct and vile views of Coulsdon resident Morgan have been so notorious that even Croydon Conservatives have kicked him out as a member of their party. Twice.
Other prominent members and members of the committee at CCC in the past have included Peter Staveley, once a regular candidate for UKIP, and Leave campaign organiser Michael Swadling, who has been a keen re-Tweeter of barely disguised racist rants from Breitbart News.
Farage fan Swadling’s timeline continues to be full of anti-vax and climate change denial nonsense, some of it from the Croydon Constitutionalists, another fringe organisation he established following the disintegration of UKIP.
Tonight’s meeting may prove better attended than most of CCC’s meetings, but will probably see the unaccountable Ash conduct one of her regular data-scraping exercises, insisting on taking people’s personal details before giving them access.
With her organisation short on committee officers and cash, she may also use Mayor Perry’s attendance to appeal for volunteers and money.
Part-time Perry has dismissed all appeals to distance himself from an organisation as toxic as CCC, offering an unconvincing assurance that he “doesn’t support racism or Islamaphobia”.
But as one concerned BAME resident told Inside Croydon today, “Perry must think we’re stupid. If he doesn’t support racism or Islamophobia, what is he doing supporting the racists and Islamophobes who sit on CCC’s committee?”
Another said, “Isn’t Jason supposed to be Mayor of all Croydon? Supporting this racist group so publicly isn’t a good look.
“At a time when hate crime is on the rise, it is surely sending the wrong message to victims for the Mayor of Croydon to be endorsing an organisation with such a well-documented and controversial reputation.”
Inside Croydon invited Mayor Perry to justify his attendance at a CCC event.
Perry failed to respond.
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