Corbyn’s left me ‘penniless’: Tory councillor who tweeted fake image of ex-Labour leader with wreath at site of Poppy Day terror attack says he’s now in ‘challenging financial situation’ after agreeing to pay undisclosed fee
- Yorkshire Conservative councillor Paul Nickerson tweeted the doctored image of Jeremy Corbyn laying a Remembrance wreath at burning taxi in Liverpool
- Mr Nickerson has apologised and paid the ex-Labour leader an undisclosed sum
- He claims he has been left in a ‘challenging financial situation’ after pay out
A Conservative Councillor claims he has been left in a ‘challenging financial situation’ after having to pay Jeremy Corbyn an undisclosed sum for sharing a doctored image of him online.
Councillor Paul Nickerson shared the fake image of the former Labour leader laying a Remembrance wreath by the taxi blown up outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital on his Twitter page with the word ‘unsurprisingly’.
The tweet was shared the day after Emad Al Swealmeen detonated an explosive device in the back of the taxi outside the Liverpool Women’s Hospital just before 11am on November 14.
Mr Nickerson, a councillor on East Riding of Yorkshire Council, apologised and paid a substantial sum in damages and legal costs to Mr Corbyn. The sum is undisclosed for legal reasons.
It appeared on the profile of Paul Nickerson (pictured) from East Riding, Yorkshire, just the day after a bomber detonated a device while sat in a taxi outside the Liverpool Women’s Hospital
He later posted a public apology, stating that the post gave the ‘completely untrue impression’ that the Islington North MP supports terrorist violence and said the tweet was ‘wrong’.
‘I unreservedly and sincerely apologise to Mr Corbyn for the hurt and distress that has been caused to him by the tweet,’ he said.
‘I entirely accept that the posting of the message the day after Remembrance Sunday aggravated the hurtful nature of the defamatory tweet.’
Mr Corbyn said the tweet ‘did a disservice to all those affected by the attack and their loved ones’ and said he would use the settlement to support charities close to his heart.
Some have continued to share the image online, despite the legal settlement.
The councillor, who has since left the Conservative group and become an independent representative, claims the pay-out to Mr Corbyn has left him ‘penniless’.
He briefly launched a GoFundMe page to raise funds for his legal fees, but raised just £30 before deciding to take the page down. He has now created a separate page to raise £10,000 for charity through various events in his ward.
Mr Nickerson (left) said he accepts his tweet was defamatory and ‘untrue’ while the Islington North MP (right) said any damages he receives will be donated to causes close to his heart
Beverly and Holderness Labour have called for his resignation over the saga, but Liberal Democrat leader Councillor David Nolan has said his apology and payment of damages should be the end of the matter.
The council’s deputy leader, Councillor Denis Healy, believes Mr Nickerson should resign and then contest a by-election to start afresh.
But, Mr Nickerson has said he will stay on as a councillor as he has case work with residents he wants to see through.
In a statement last week, Jonathan Owen, leader of the Conservative group on East Riding Council, said ‘inappropriate remarks’ would not be tolerated.
Mr Owen said: ‘Following an inappropriate and offensive message, which appeared on councillor Paul Nickerson’s Twitter feed, I have suspended him from the East Riding of Yorkshire Council Conservative group with immediate effect and an investigation will now take place.’
Mr Nickerson described the incident as ‘a short, sharp shock.’
‘This has left me in a very challenging situation financially, it’s been a short, sharp shock because you realise there are serious consequences to things that I didn’t realise before,’ he told The Mirror.
‘The best thing to do is to try and be kind as often as possible in what you say and do. I normally try to do that but I failed.’
He told MailOnline: ‘I am wiser for the experience and am working really hard in my ward at the moment and putting this behind me.’