Evesham Town Council’s statement on ‘xenophobic and ableist’ video

Evesham Journal – EVESHAM Town Council has condemned a councillor after a video featuring “xenophobic and ableist” language was circulated on social media.

The video shared on Facebook featuring councillor Emma Nishigaki resulted in complaints being made to the council.

As such, following an extraordinary meeting held at Evesham Town Hall last night, the council has moved to distance itself from what councillor Nishigaki has said.

The statement released today (July 4) reads: “Evesham Town Council is aware of a video circulating on social media in which an Evesham Town Councillor, Cllr Emma Nishigaki, is seen using profane language and expressing xenophobic and ableist views.

“The council is dismayed at the content of this video and wishes to distance itself most strongly from its content.

“Evesham Town Council confirms its full support for all Ukrainian refugees, especially those living in our local community and for people with learning difficulties.

“Councillor Nishigaki has said that the video was made before she joined the council, but we accept that this in no way excuses its content, and the council would like to apologise unreservedly for the hurt that it has caused in our community.”

At the meeting on Monday (July 3) councillors agreed to remove councillor Nishigaki from committees and working groups, as well as refer the matter to Wychavon’s monitoring officer. 

Councillor Nishigaki has apologised but believes it has been illegally shared.

She also believes it was unlawful for an extraordinary meeting to be called, which the council denies.

She said: “I am truly sorry members of the public were traumatised by a video obtained and shared illegally.

“The meeting called was illegal under the council’s own standing orders and they have no recourse to judge punish or otherwise sanction me.

“The matter has now been referred to the monitoring officer, which was what I’d requested prior to what can only be described as a 19th-century style kangaroo court.

“I have never stated I do not support Ukrainian war victims merely spoken about some failings of the scheme.

“The matter is now in the hands of a legal team and as such I will be making no further comment.”

Evesham Town Council has said the meeting was “perfectly legal” and called for by two councillors.