A councillor in the Isles of Scilly has been told that he must take diversity training after he accused officials of creating “conditions similar to those in Bergen-Belsen or Dachau” in row over public bins and toilets.
Toby Tobin-Dougan, 63, made what was reportedly described as a “crass assertion” in an e-mail to a colleague and council officers.
A scrutiny committee reportedly found that the independent councillor’s comments, made in October of last year, had been “offensive in the extreme” and designed to “bully the recipients”.
Cllr Tobin-Dougan represents St Martin’s, the northernmost island in the archipelago. The island receives some 400 visitors a day in the summertime but has only one public toilet and no public waste bins. The Council says that it has begun working with the Duchy of Cornwall, which owns the land on the outer islands, to provide public bins.
Cllr Tobin-Dougan has been instructed to write a “meaningful apology” and attend diversity training, “with an emphasis on the need to ensure that respect should be given to the Holocaust.”
He reportedly told The Times that he was not a bully and that the e-mail had been sent “in the heat of the moment”, while a member of the scrutiny committee allegedly described the analogy with a Nazi death camp as “outrageous, beyond all decency,” and that it besmirched the Nazis’ victims. They added: “Were I able to, I would have no hesitation in recommending [Cllr Tobin-Dougan] be suspended.”
The Isles of Scilly have not yet adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.