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 the Standards Sub-Committee earlier this year.
The comments in question were apparently made during an interview to recruit a senior officer at the Council in July 2019, 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”, and was suspended pending a full investigation.
However, it has now been reported that Cllr Caserta, who represents the Pilkington Park ward on Bury Council, has been reinstated. A message reportedly disseminated to Bury Council members read: “I want to inform you that Cllr Caserta has been re-instated as a member of the Conservative with immediate effect.”
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “A suspension pending investigation is not in itself generally an appropriate sanction, and the Conservative Party must disclose the outcome of that investigation and what sanctions or training have been imposed on Cllr Caserta.”
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.
UPDATE: In the evening following the publication of our article, the full statement was made available: “Bury Conservative council group can confirm that the Party whip has been restored to Councillor Robert Caserta following his suspension in March 2021. This follows an extensive internal inquiry which came to the same conclusion that Bury Council’s Standards panel found. We are satisfied that all sanctions decided by the Council’s Standards panel have now been fulfilled by Councillor Caserta. He has also undertaken the Conservative Party’s diversity training. Bury Conservatives will make no further comment on this matter.”