Campaigners turned out to Bromley Civic Centre on Tuesday night to protest the council’s response to the Christchurch Terror Attack.

Protesters say the council “watered down” a motion put forward to stand with the Muslim community in response to the devastating mass murder at a Mosque in New Zealand.

Councillor Simon Jeal tabelled a motion in response to the atrocities, asking the council to express sympathy with the Muslim community in the wake of the mass shooting at a Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Conservative councillors passed an amendment to the motion, shortening it and  removing specific references to the Muslim community, including tributes to victims of all terror attacks.

Cllr Jeal said: “Bromley Council had an opportunity to pass the motion I presented, amended with the wording proposed.

“This would have made clear our total support for our Muslim communities and residents from all minority groups, that will we not tolerate racism, bigotry and hatred. The majority of Bromley’s Conservative group chose not to do so.

“While I was disappointed  and saddened at their lack of leadership, I fully understand why many Bromley residents were shocked and angry at their behaviour and thank those who attended the protest to say so.”

Campaigners, operating under the banner #notohate, protested outside the council chamber.


Christchurch terror attacks: Bromley councillor from New Zealand urges kindness

Council leader Colin Smith responded: “This is desperately disappointing stuff from the local Labour party who as ever have very little to say for themselves surrounding the efficient running of the council, whilst remaining ever ready to play parochial party politics on issues which play on the public’s hopes and fears.

“For anybody to intone or actually state that Bromley Conservative councillors are anti any religious group is utterly despicable.

“In short, whilst Labour wished to focus solely on the Christchurch atrocity, desperately sad as it was, Bromley Conservatives simply extended the Labour group’s motion to reach out and include our thoughts and sympathy to all victims of terrorism everywhere, irrespective of their race, colour, creed or religion following similar desperate acts of terror semi recently in places as diverse as Kenya, Nigeria and Israel.

“That seemed a far better and more inclusive thing to do at the time to me and quite frankly still does.”

The council’s amended response read: “This council expresses its utter shock and sympathy in the wake of the terrorist atrocity in New Zealand and notes other recent attacks in the Philippines, Kenya, Nigeria, Israel and elsewhere and extends its sympathy to all the victims of terrorist crimes wherever they occur.”