Tory council candidate condemned after tweeting ‘just bomb Bristol’

Tory councillor protest
Jasmine Norden

A Conservative candidate for Eastbourne council had to apologise after tweeting ‘”just bomb Bristol” in response to the weekend’s protests.

Stephen Halbhuber was widely criticised for his response to the videos of police in Bristol clashing with the demonstrators as they protested the government’s policing bill:

Immediate backlash

Several Twitter users asked the Conservatives whether Halbhuber was the sort of person they wanted representing them.

Halbhuber is running for the St Anthony’s ward in Eastbourne:

Labour MP David Lammy also slammed the tweet as “disgraceful”:


After the negative reaction, Halbhuber tweeted an apology:

I want to apologise unreservedly for my comments last night, and for any offence caused. Needless to say, it is not something that I believe or would advocate for. In the cold light of day, I completely regret them.

I have a responsibility to residents to act with propriety and tolerance. Yesterday, I fell beneath that standard, and can only apologise and promise to learn from my mistake.

Halbhuber has since deleted his Twitter account, but responses to his original tweet remain:

The protest

Halbhuber’s tweet referenced the Bristol protest against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. The bill, if enacted, will give police extra powers to impose conditions on protests.

Demonstrators gathered in Bristol on 21 March to protest the bill, beginning peacefully, but ending with police clashing with demonstrators.

Halbhuber’s suggestion to ‘bomb’ the city in response presents serious questions about the sort of people running for political positions as Conservatives, and whether the party will take action to condemn his words.

Featured image via Flickr/NCVO London & YouTube/BBC News

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