Tory councilor branded ‘despicable racist’ after saying slaves brought to UK ‘had a better life than staying in Africa’
- Elfan Ap Rees, councilor for Locking Parish Tory, made the comments on Wednesday
- The tweet was in response to David Olushoga’s show A House Through Time
- Mr. Ap Rees wrote: “Most slaves were sold to visiting ships by their fellow African tribes and had a better life than staying in Africa.
A Tory councilor has been labeled a “despicable” racist after saying slaves brought to the UK “had a better life than staying in Africa.”
78-year-old Elfan Ap Rees, who was a former councilor in North Somerset before holding the same position in Locking Parish, claimed that Africans brought to Britain during the slave trade had a “better life” than at home.
His controversial comments were tweeted Wednesday in response to a discussion of historian David Olusoga’s show, A House Through Time, which is dissecting Bristol’s relationship with the people’s trade.
Mr. Ap Rees wrote: “Bristol has to get over it … history and most of the slaves were sold to visiting ships by their African tribes and had a better life than staying in Africa.
“What cruelty yes, but there was worse among the white arms living in slums, and p [sic]. ‘
Commenting on the comments, the Weston Labor party said, ‘Thank goodness this vile racist no longer represents us on @NorthsomersetCouncil. How the @Conservatives can justify him remaining as a member after his repeated racist comments is beyond us. ‘
Pictured: Tory councilor for Locking Parish Elfan Ap Rees, 78, who said on Wednesday that slaves brought from Africa to Britain were better off than at home
Social media users and the local Labor party were outraged by Mr. Tweet’s tweet. Ap Rees (photo)
A conservative spokesperson for Weston-super-Mare said they were investigating the comments, Bristol Live reported.
The show mapped the history of a building on Guinea Street where slaves were transported from Africa and trafficked in Bristol.
The street name refers to the Guinea coast in West Africa.
Mr. Olusoga, the show’s host, tweeted in response to Mr. Ap Rees’ comments, “What a clichéd, unoriginal, illiterate and ill-informed answer.”
The tweet was in response to a David Olusoga show, House Through Time, which charts the history of a building on Guinea Street where slaves were transported from Africa and trafficked in Bristol
Social media users were similarly outraged, with one writing: “Showing white privileges like this illustrates why the North Somerset audience was absolutely right to get you and your opinion out of the office.
Another wrote: “Has he not seen evidence of the accounts and records of the enslaved slaves and their masters.
“It is true that conditions in this country were terrible for the poor, but at least they could consider themselves free men and women.”