A COUNCILLOR from Almondsbury who was accused of sending a racist tweet has made his first appearance at a parish council meeting since February.

Cllr Philip Winter, who represents UKIP on the council, has claimed that his social media account had been hacked and that the tweet in question had not been sent by him.

The tweet, a slur in response to Yale University in America announcing it would distance themselves from a recognised white supremacist by renaming residential halls, was deleted shortly afterwards.

Following the incident, Almondsbury Parish Council called for Cllr Winter to resign his position, with Avon and Somerset Police investigating it as a “hate incident”.

Cllr Winter’s attendance to Tuesday’s full parish council meeting was the first since the incident in February, having sent his apologies to every meeting since.

Had he not attended he would have missed the required amount of meetings to face expulsion from the council.

Cllr Winter’s presence was noted early in the meeting by a member of the public, Mich Moroney, who asked councillors if they would follow through on comments they made at the time that they would not site at the same table as him.

Council chairman Cllr Phil Hall responded: “He is still a councillor and is entitled to attend, so while people may think what they will, we do have business to get on with.”

Cllr Andy Segal, however, said: “I feel very uncomfortable sharing this forum, following the comments made publicly by Cllr Winter.”

Suggesting the tweet was not a one-off case, Cllr Diane Wilson said: “I regularly read the letters Cllr Winter sends to our local paper that are offensive to our council. This matter should have been put to bed a long time ago.”

When approached by the Gazette, Cllr Winter chose not to respond to the comments made, citing that a hearing was due to take place regarding the incident.