Belfast Telegraph

PSNI probes racist trolling of councillor Kamble who defected to the DUP

By Claire Williamson

Racist comments directed at the DUP's newest recruit on social media have been reported to the PSNI.

Former Alliance Party councillor Vasundhara Kamble, who was unveiled as the DUP's latest recruit alongside ex-UUP councillor John Scott at Saturday's party conference, was the subject of abusive remarks at the weekend.

Councillor Kamble admitted she was "hurt" by the comments but vowed not to be deterred from her work.

Ms Kamble first moved to Northern Ireland from Mumbai in 1995 before starting out in politics as an Alliance volunteer.

In 2011 she was co-opted on to Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council after her selection by a committee of party members.

DUP councillor Nathan Anderson said the police are now investigating the remarks.

He told the Belfast Telegraph: "She's my party colleague and my friend.

"When I saw my friend being attacked in that way I thought it was outrageous and I'm not going to stand idly by when one of my friends is being attacked.

"Everything has a consequence, and we have to realise that social media is no different.

"If you wouldn't say something in a public meeting you shouldn't say it online.

"It's now with the police and I'm sure they will investigate the matter fully."

Ms Kamble said she "wasn't prepared for the backlash" at the weekend but said she was "grateful" for the support from the DUP.

"It did hurt me, yes of course, I will not deny it", she said.

"But I will just ignore it and move on because I can't be put down because of all the nasty comments. I feel it is my privilege to be serving the constituents and I will continue to do that irrespective of what is being said about me.

"I know I'm a hard-working person. I've come to make my home here and I feel it's my duty to do something for the community.

"I'm hurt by the comments but that will not stop me."

Ms Kamble hopes that the PSNI will investigate to show people they "can't get away with it".

Her move to the DUP comes months after she and another ex-councillor, Geraldine Rice, publicly accused Alliance members of ageism, racism and elitism.

Alliance has strongly denied the accusations.

l In our edition of November 27, 2017, we published an article entitled 'Ex-Alliance member makes move to DUP', in which Councillor Vasundhara Kamble claimed that the issue of same-sex marriage was a matter of conscience in the Alliance Party.

However, Alliance has pointed out that it has had a policy in favour of the introduction of same-sex civil marriage here since September 2012.

We are happy to set the record straight.

Belfast Telegraph

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