AbbotsNews has received a number of complaints from residents in Abbots Langley after a former councillor allegedly made “inappropriate” comments on a private Facebook group about the village’s Member of Parliament’s weight.
Chris Whately-Smith, who is a moderator on the Abbots Langley Matters Facebook group, posted: “Bit alarmed at the size of our MP now in MyAbbots. Has lockdown been hard on the waistline?”
Mr Whately-Smith is a former Three Rivers District councillor, who represented Gade Valley for a number of years.
One resident responded to the Facebook post saying: “Wow… slightly inappropriate and very judgemental,” while another hoped “he was hacked” rather than making the comment himself.
The comment was aimed towards Dean Russell, MP for Watford, who was elected back in December 2019’s General Election, replacing Richard Harrington.
Mr Russell MP told AbbotsNews: “It is disappointing to see a former councillor allegedly comment on anybody’s physical appearance on a public forum. Many people may be feeling self-conscious about their appearance as lockdown ends, and we begin to return to the physical workplace. So, I don’t think such comments are helpful in any way.
“We all need to be careful of what we say online as we do not know the wider impact a comment could have on the mental health of anybody – not just the target – reading such comments.
“It is especially important at this time that we all consider the language we use and choose to #bekind to each other – irrespective of any differences we may have.”
Mr Whately-Smith has been approached for a comment.