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Sunday 6 February 2011

Conservative Party investigates Diana Coad "Comment"

A Minor Storm in a Blue Teacup or Something More Serious ?


After angry complaints to national Conservative Party headquarters alleging a Conservative councillor made, what a witness described as, a "racist slur" against Indians, Conservative Party officials from Newbury and Reading are expected to start an investigation on Tuesday.

Using the Windsor Conservatives office, just 2 miles from Slough, party officials will interview Slough Conservative Association members to determine exactly what happened when former parliamentary candidate and incumbent Slough Borough Council councillor Diana Coad, wife of Conservative council group leader Peter Dale-Gough, visited the Slough Conservative Office in London Road, Langley on Friday 21 January 2011 at about 19:20 hours.

A Conservative member, claiming to have witnessed events, alleges Cllr Coad (Conservative, Langley St Mary's) told members of the party's Slough East branch, encompassing Upton, St Mary's, Foxborough, Kedermister and Colnbrook wards, "You Indians are all liars. i don't trust any of you".

The witness claims aggrieved Conservative Party members, all of whom migrated to Britain from India, want Cllr Coad to apologise and undertake to refrain from making similar "slurs" against India's 1.2 billion population.

However it is unclear to the Slough Times whether any of the aggrieved members have actually asked Cllr Coad to apologise or even explain why she made the alleged comments. A witness told the Slough Times Cllr Coad tried to make a friendly joke.

The Slough Times has been unable to find other witnesses willing to corroborate the allegation or provide further details.

A Slough Conservatives spokesman, sounding very disappointed, said the local party was capable of dealing with the matter locally, and would prefer to do so in a harmonious and conciliatory manner but "one individual" was intent on taking the matter beyond Slough.

The Slough Times contacted Cllr Diana Coad asking for her version of events.   However, after we put the allegations to her, Cllr Coad declined to comment.

source: SOLA 010561