An Ealing councillor has caused offense by making controversial comments targeted at flood victims.

Benjamin Dennehy, the Hanger Hill ward councillor, Tweeted yesterday (February 13): “Sick of listening to ppl living in houses, not on stilts, in flood plains moaning about flooding. Its like an Eskimo moaning about the cold. Everyone wants to blame Govt, climate change etc. What about those that buy in high risk areas assuming their responsibility?”

A storm broke out on Twitter shortly after remarks such as the above were made.

Joe Carlisle @JoeCarlisle80 Tweeted: “This is what your councillor thinks about people suffering in the floods.”

Stephen Carter @Ste_Carter91 Tweeted: “Flooding is a bad thing but in a way he’s right; just shouldn’t put it in such a insulting way.”

Cllr Dennehy was elected as a Conservative in 2010 and expelled by the Tories two years ago for controversial comments he made about Southall. He joined UKIP and now says he has allowed his membership to expire and is not a member of any other political party.

 

Suzanne Fernandes, a youth mentor from Ealing, said: “He [Cllr Dennehy] is a liability for Ealing. He has used his platform to vent his libellous comments. I find him the most offensive person I have ever come across- a councillor with no regard for the community. He is so provocative. He says ‘it’s my freedom of speech’ as if that’s a licence to do what he likes.”

Mr Dennehy said the views he expressed are a personal opinion. He said: “I must be honest, even by my standards, the tweet did come across rather blunt. For that I am sorry. I have utter sympathy for those whose homes are ruined. However, when emotions have subsided, hard questions and truths need to be asked and said.

“I believe the Government should do/spend what it takes to get through this disaster. But if all we do is blame Government or climate change for flooding we will never achieve anything. Caveat Emptor. If you buy a house in a flood plain and it has not been designed and built to factor in that possibility, the buyer has to accept they chose to run that risk.”

When asked why he made this decision he said: “So I could speak freely in my last few months as a councillor without causing a party distress. People only ever report the controversial things, never what really matters.”