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Barnet Alliance for Public Services 'reviewing Twitter policy' after row with Barnet Bugle blogger Dan Hope
A political campaign group has been forced to review its Twitter policy after being accused of publishing an “insensitive” tweet relating to immigration.
The left-wing Barnet Alliance for Public Services (BAPS) was accused of sending “offensive” remarks to blogger Dan Hope, who runs The Barnet Bugle website.
The organisation, best known for its opposition to Barnet Council’s outsourcing scheme One Barnet, has since admitted it “regrets” its official account was used to send the messages.
BAPS referred to Jewish Mr Hope’s “2,000 years of illegality” during an online exchange on Tuesday about the Home Office’s recent controversial pilot scheme to target illegal immigration.
But Tirza Waisel, a representative of the organisation, denied there was anything insensitive about the remarks.
The tweet in question read in full: “You, with a two thousnd (sic) years of “illegality”, should be ashamed of yourself.”
BAPS member Ron Cohen, who is also Jewish, was in charge of the Twitter feed at the time of the heated exchange.
Ms Waisel said: “Ron reminded Dan that his ancestors and other Jews have been persecuted,
murdered and deported during the last 2,000 years of their history using similar terminology of “illegality”.
“Ron Cohen thinks, and this organisation agrees, that people should be more tolerant of immigrants.”
Mr Hope told The Times Series he felt the comments could be considered “insensitive”.
He said: “I don’t really know what he [Ron Cohen] was getting at. I wrote to BAPS to ask for an explanation but have had no response.
“It is a strange thing for him to say and some people have deemed it offensive. They claim to be an inclusive organisation but that doesn’t stick with these tweets.”
Ms Waisel said the organisation would be putting Twitter protocols in place at its next AGM and said Mr Cohen had expressed regret over the exchange.
She said: “He acknowledges he shouldn’t have sent those messages from the BAPS account. It was a mistake to tweet specifically about this from our account but this is a new thing for everyone and we will be addressing the issue of protocols at our next meeting.”
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