Plymouth City Council’s Conservative leader Nick Kelly has been temporarily suspended by his party after his “victim-blaming rhetoric” was slammed
The Conservative leader of Plymouth City Council has been temporarily suspended following comments he made about teenager Bobbi-Anne McLeod who was allegedly murdered.
Cllr Nick Kelly initially refused to apologise for saying everyone had a responsibility “not to put themselves in a compromising position” after she vanished earlier this month.
A body found on a beach has been now been confirmed to be missing 18-year-old.
A large search was launched after she disappeared in Plymouth, Devon, on Saturday November 20, after failing to meet her boyfriend.
Plymouth Sutton and Devonport Conservative Association confirmed in a statement that Kelly had been temporarily suspended, pending an investigation.
He made the comments during an ITV interview on November 25.
PlymouthLive reports that there was an outcry on social media and from a number of local politicians.
Cllr Tudor Evans, leader of the opposition on Plymouth City Council, said: “It’s difficult to conceive of a more insensitive and arrogant thing to say at this time, or, in fact, at any time.”
He was also slammed for his “victim-blaming rhetoric”.
DEVON LIVE/BPM MEDIA)
Cllr Kelly initially told PlymouthLive : “In no way was I implying Bobbi-Anne did anything wrong in any way.”
He then said: “I again apologise unreservedly that my words have taken away this focus, at a time when we should all be working together to grieve for Bobbi-Anne.”
He added: “This tragedy is in no way her fault. What has happened to her is solely at the hands of the person who took her life.
“I am aware that a snippet from one interview I carried out, relating to general community safety issues in the city, and comments made in an informal conversation, have been used to imply the opposite. It could not be further from the truth.”
In a heartbreaking update on Tuesday, Devon and Cornwall Police wrote: “Formal identification has now been completed and it has been confirmed that the body located in Bovisand on 23 November is that of 18-year-old Bobbi-Anne McLeod.
“Her family have been informed of this update and have asked for their privacy to be respected at this time.”
Musician Cody Ackland, 24, has been charged with her murder.