A councillor has been sanctioned for breaching the council's code of conduct after saying he would ‘ideally like’ the district to be ‘whites only’.

For Britain councillor Julian Leppert was handed a series of sanctions following virtual Epping Forest District Council meeting last night (November 10)

It comes after the councillor appeared in a Youtube with the far right party’s political fixer Eddy Butler, focusing on asylum seekers housed at the Bell Hotel in Epping.

In the video, published in July, the pair made unsubstantial claims that supplies for a foodbank were being diverted to feed the asylum seekers and that their presence had increased petty crime in the area – the claims were refuted by the charity running the foodbank and the police.

Cllr Leppert was quizzed by councillors at Tuesday evening’s standards committee meeting about the allegations he made.

During the meeting, Cllr Leppert said: “I feel that all people and all cultures have rights. I think white European people have the moral right to defend our legitimate group interests just as every other population group on our planet does and if asserting those rights offends other people, then so be it.”

When asked what would be an acceptable number of asylum seekers in Epping Forest, he replied: “None.”

Cllr Leppert also admitted to having not read the councillors code of conduct when asked.

In August, the Waltham Abbey Paternoster ward councillor, who has appeared on BBC radio and Russia Today to discuss the hotel, told The Guardian (the national paper): “We don’t want a Tower Hamlets out in Essex." When The Guardian asked if he was advocating a whites-only enclave on the edge of London, Leppert replied: “Ideally, yeah.”

Following these comments, the council received complaints from the public and other councillors.

The first complaint was from a doctor in the NHS who said one of her patients, who was housed in the Bell Hotel, had been the victim of racist abuse.
She felt the abuse her patient and other residents of the hotel had received were as a result of the YouTube video.

The doctor also claimed that individuals have gained unauthorised access to the hotel and filmed residents without their consent.

She continued that there have been incidents of physical violence and attacks in racist protests outside the hotel where her client lives, making him and the other residents scared for their lives and safety.

The second complaint was from an EFDC Councillor, who said “I'd like to raise a complaint re. racist comments made by Cllr Julian Leppert in the national press.

"His comment will inevitably have an impact on BAME people in Waltham Abbey, where he is a councillor, and Epping Forest more widely.

“He's openly stated that he doesn't want them in Epping, and I feel that his comments will have a further negative impact by emboldening racists to be more open and active. I don't think that this behaviour is acceptable from anybody, let alone an elected district councillor who is elected to serve and represent, not denigrate and intimidate, the community”.

A report complied for last night's meeting said: “Councillors are representatives of the Council and the public will see their actions as being an illustration of the views of the Council."

It added that the views were not shared by the council as a local authority.

Cllr Leppert invoked his rights to freedom of opinion under the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

Quoting the declaration, he said: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.”

He added: “Many of my political colleagues on the council are all for human rights with regard to asylum seekers and illegal immigrants but when it comes to British people, apparently not so much.”

The sanctions agreed against Cllr Leppert include a formal censure, a requirement to attend Equality and Diversity training and required to attend further training on the code of conduct.

After the sanctions were agreed, Cllr Leppert said it was a verdict “I expected”.