A DISGRUNTLED town councillor has threatened the district authority with legal action over claims they have “breached his human rights.”

Penrith Town Council member Jonathan Davies has argued that standards complaints made against him by a county councillor and fellow town councillor should never have been looked at by Eden District Council's committee on standards.

The complaints were made about comments made via Mr Davies’ social media accounts

He argues that as the offending comments were made on social media, they should not be subject to Eden District Council’s Code of Conduct.

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Mr Davies has cited Article 10 of the Human Rights Act which states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.”

He has also pointed to a piece of Local Government Association advice: “Simply describing yourself as a councillor in a social media posting or at the top of your page or in your username or profile, for example, does not of itself mean that every posting you make is covered by the Code. There must be a link within the individual posting or thread to your role as a councillor or to local authority business.”

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Mr Davies said: “I firmly believe that Eden Council has acted in a way that is not only beyond its powers to act but through its actions they have breached my human rights as an individual to the right to hold and express ideas without interference by public authority.”

Mr Davies has told the council in a strongly worded letter that unless they withdraw the standards panel’s position and issue a public apology, he will file for a Judicial Review.

“I believe that if we let small infringements of our Human Rights slip by then this risks the protections and entirety of those rights, we all live by in society.”

Eden District Council was approached for comment.

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