CALNE’S Conservative mayor has been accused of failing to act over a councillor’s anti-Israel comments.

Ollie Cohen made an official complaint to the Conservative campaign HQ on Tuesday accusing Cllr Tony Trotman, who is also a Wiltshire councillor, of failing to condemn comments from Calne Town Council Cllr Terry Couchman.

Cllr Couchman has come under fire previously for making controversial comments about Judaism on social media. In this instance, Cllr Couchman, who claims to be of Jewish heritage, wrote on a post seen by the Gazette on Twitter and Facebook that there was ‘no cure’ for the Israelis and they ‘need culling’.

He told the Gazette his comments were made in connection with Israeli military action against civilians.

In a letter to CCHQ, Mr Cohen said: “The Conservative Party has rightly called Labour out on their anti-Semitism problem.

“It is very concerning to learn that when Tony Trotman was contacted regarding the racism of this member of his council, he said he did not have the right to judge anybody’s beliefs.

“The Labour Party rightly needs to be condemned for their appalling way of dealing with anti-Semitism, but when Conservatives cannot even condemn their own councillors for calling for a genocide of the Jews of Israel, what kind of message does that send out?”

Cllr Couchman was suspended by the Labour Party during last year’s local election but took an uncontested seat for Calne Central Ward on the town council.

Recently Labour councillor Jonathan Fisher tweeted that he did not represent the views of Calne Labour or North Wiltshire Labour in any way and added that some members are considering leaving the party due to its “disgraceful” response to Coun Couchman’s comments.

Cllr Trotman said he could not comment on the issue to the Gazette as he was currently seeking legal advice.