Falkirk councillor Robert Spears in new row

Councillor Robert Spears
Councillor Robert Spears

A councillor censured by local government watchdogs for giving a Nazi salute is at the centre of another political storm.

Robert Spears, who represents Grangemouth as one of two non-aligned independent group members on Falkirk Council, has been accused of using his group’s official website to attack rival Tory Councillor Malcolm Nicol.

It has been alleged he compared disability assessments to the Auschwitz death camp, comments which featured alongside a sick mocked-up picture of Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith kicking a disabled person in the head.

Councillor Spears insists “at no time did I make that jibe” - and said the NAIG is considering reporting the Sunday newspaper which made the claims to the Press Complaints Commission.

The veteran councillor, who served with the TA in the Gulf War, also denied he had anything to do with the content of the Facebook page and added: “I’m not the administrator of the website and don’t know what people have put on it.”

Councillor Nicol was made aware of the comments during a council meeting last week. He admitted: “I was handed an extract from the web page which was a bit disheartening to say the least. A senior officer with Police Scotland has spoken to me about this and confirmed they are investigating the matter.”

Councillor Craig Martin, leader of the council, said: “Councillor Nicol was visibly upset at the image and content on the website. This reflects very badly on the council and cannot be tolerated.”

Mr Spears’ colleague Councillor Brian McCabe accused Councillor Nicol of “rank hypocrisy” for complaining to the police and said: “Police Scotland has not approached the NAIG regarding the matter.”