Cllr Robert (Bob) Caserta was found to have breached the Code of Conduct for Councillors and Other Voting Representatives four times when he appeared before a Standards Sub-Committee meetings last month.
The comments in question were apparently made during an interview to recruit a senior officer at the Council last July, when Cllr Caserta is alleged to have referred to “grot spots” in Sedgley and said that it would be difficult to communicate with residents “unless you are able to speak Hebrew”.
He was found to have “used inappropriate language that was disrespectful and wholly inappropriate” which “may affect Bury Council’s ability to recruit high calibre candidates in the future”.
The local MP for Bury South, Christian Wakeford, and Cllr Nicholas Jones, Leader of Bury Conservatives, issued a joint statement confirming that the whip has been removed from Cllr Caserta pending an investigation. They said: “Since being elected as MP for Bury South and Conservative Group Leader on Bury Council, we have always enjoyed an excellent relationship with the Jewish community. We consider antisemitism in all its forms abhorrent and will continue to call it out wherever it is found, including within our own Party. Cllr Caserta’s comments were at best inappropriate and deeply offensive and at worst could be construed as antisemitic, so it is right that prompt action is taken. We have acted as a matter of urgency and immediately removed the whip from Cllr Caserta pending a full investigation into this matter.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.