A Sandwell councillor has been cleared of a hate crime after the Crown Prosecution Service dropped charges of racially/religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress.
Cllr Bob Piper was supposed to appear at Walsall Magistrates Court tomorrow (Wednesday, January 16) to answer the allegation he used the term ‘Sieg Heil’ to political opponents on July 18 last year.
But speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service this week, he said his solicitors had now informed him the CPS had withdrawn the charges.
The allegation related to the comment he made towards a supporter of the For Britain party, which is described as far right by its opponents.
Speaking today, he described the charge as 'ridiculous'.
He said: “This was a total waste of public money and police effort in the the first place and they should concentrate on getting out there and dealing with real criminals instead of wasting their time with this utter nonsense.
“[The For Britain party supporter] is a member of an extreme right wing political party and it was a facetious comment about his right wing leanings.”
“This bloke is a six foot white male who is a member of an Islamophobic party, and what was the racial element in it?
“The police said it could be offensive if he was Jewish and I said, ‘But he not’.”
A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed the racially aggravated charge had been withdrawn.