Imagine a Conservative councillor called for the death of a political opponent (such as Tony Blair or Gordon Brown). Furthermore that the offensive comment was not something they were overheard uttering in a pub after a few drinks but a comment made on the internet. Furthermore that they refused to apologise even after its offensive nature was highlighted. I would say that such a person should have the whip withdrawn.

Yet what of Cllr Florence Anderson, a Labour councillor, who has said in a message on an open Facebook  group, that she hopes Margaret Thatcher "burns in Hell"? Not only will she apparently remain a Labour councillor but is to continue as Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council. Will the Labour MP Peter Hain be happy to continue as her Facebook friend?

Another aspect of the saga is that the Council press officer said:

 “There are still strong feelings in many parts of the country about events during Margaret Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister and Cllr Anderson has expressed her feelings.”

It sounds to me as of the press officer has breached the Local Government Act 1986 and the Code of Practice on Local Authority Publicity. They are not suppose to get drawn into party political controversies.