A UKIP candidate in a local by-election just tried to bully his Labour opponent on Twitter. But the stunt backfired spectacularly, as social media users were having none of it.
Another UKIP epic fail
UKIP’s Brian Silvester, a former councillor who is standing in the Crewe West by-election on 1 December, bragged on Twitter about the number of followers he had:
— Cllr Brian Silvester ❌ (@CllrBSilvester) November 14, 2016
On 14 November, his Labour opponent Natasha Maroni did indeed only have 17 followers. But Twitter then worked its magic:
— NewsThump (@newsthump) November 14, 2016
— Suze Azzopardi (@TheAzzo) November 14, 2016
And the response was phenomenal. Maroni had 11,743 followers as of 9am on Tuesday 15 November .
But Silvester, currently a parish councillor, has form on controversial tweeting. As The Metro reported on 6 November, he was unhappy with the High Court’s decision to allow MPs to vote on Brexit. So unhappy, in fact, that he called for protests outside the judges’ houses:
We need to know where the three Judges who wrongly tried to stop #Brexit live, so we can peacefully protest outside their homes.
A ‘slum’ landlord?
And Silvester’s sinister side goes deeper than that. The former mayor appeared in court in October 2012 over fire regulation breaches at a property he rented out. Silvester, along with his brother Colin, admitted 11 fire safety charges. They also confessed failure to obtain a licence for a house of multiple occupation. The property, a house converted into bedsits, had broken smoke alarms, loose wiring, holes in the ceilings, and combustible materials in the corridors. Prosecutor Bernard Thorogood QC said the problems had “left tenants terrified for their safety”.
As The Crewe Chronicle reported:
One tenant, John Masters, had even come up with his own ‘dramatic’ makeshift escape plan, keeping a rope and hammer by his window.
The UKIP councillor and his brother escaped a prison sentence. But Silvester was fined £45,000, plus £22,000 in costs. The court fined Colin Silvester £37,500 and he had to pay costs of £22,000. Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service commented that the brothers’ fire regulation breaches were some of the most serious it had ever seen.
Silvester (UKIP), Maroni (Labour) and Steven Edgar (Conservative) are contesting the by-election. It is formerly a safe Labour seat, so it is perhaps little wonder Silvester is resorting to desperate measures. But after his clumsy bully-boy tactics, if the election was based on social media support, Maroni would have it in the bag.
– Read more stories from The Canary on UKIP.
– Support The Canary, so we can keep bringing you the news that matters.
Featured image via Flickr
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?