Gary Lineker row: Councillor Alexis McEvoy apologises for calling Ian Wright 'typical black hypocrite' on Twitter
A CONSERVATIVE councillor being investigated by New Forest District Council for calling ex-footballer Ian Wright a "typical black hypocrite" in a now deleted tweet has said she is "deeply sorry".
Cllr Alexis McEvoy made the tweet on Saturday afternoon in the wake of the ongoing row over Gary Linker's criticism of the government's language on immigration.
But today (Monday) she said she has now reported herself for an investigation and suspended herself from the Tory party.
Cllr McEvoy represents Fawley, Blackfield and Langley on NFDC and South Waterside on Hampshire County Council. She is also a member of the New Forest National Park Authority.
In a statement issued by the county's Conservative group, Cllr McEvoy said: “I am aware that a tweet I sent, and then deleted, has caused offence.
"I did not mean it to do so and I am deeply sorry.
"I find racism in any form abhorrent, I have therefore reported myself to the monitoring officer at both Hampshire County Council and New Forest District Council and have suspended myself from both the Conservative groups at New Forest District Council and Hampshire County Council, pending investigations.”
Going by the name @Lexxie_m on Twitter, Cllr McEvoy tweeted the message with a devil emoji to her more than 500 followers in response to the ongoing row between the BBC and Gary Lineker over tweets in which he compared the government's language on immigration to that of 1930s Germany.
Cllr McEvoy initially said the tweet had been "taken out of context" and blamed her Liberal Democrat political opponents for being "troublesome".
She initially told the A&T: "Are we going to talk about all the good things I do for people, whatever colour they are? I do a lot of good things for people. I'm not prepared to make a further comment on it.
"I'm not stupid; we've got the elections coming up and people are looking for an excuse to try and discredit me."
Following those comments, NFDC's Tory leader Cllr Jill Cleary confirmed to the A&T that a complaint had been made to the Conservative group and to NFDC, and both were carrying out investigations.
Cllr Malcolm Wade, leader of NFDC's Lib Dem opposition group, has written to Cllr Cleary urging her to take "robust" disciplinary action.
He wrote: "This posting encourages division and racism; both issues that we as responsible council members should be fighting to stop in our society.
"Not only has this posting outraged a number of people who read it, including other council members, consider the impact on members of the public, including the black and Asian communities in our area, upon reading this from a longstanding council member."