The hearing to decide if a former county councillor breached the code of conduct by publishing an allegedly racist social media post is being held in private today (Thursday, June 9).

Pembrokeshire County Council’s standards committee had previously determined that they would hold the hearing into whether Paul Dowson had breached the council code of conduct in public, said chairman Corinna Kershaw, but additional information in recent days led to further discussion with members.

The committee decided that it would hold the entire hearing in private session as it was likely that exempt information would be disclosed.

Mrs Kershaw said that there were two main factors disputed in relation to the alleged breach in 2020 – whether Mr Dowson was acting in his capacity as a councillor when he made public comments about the Black Lives Matter movement and if he was or should have been aware that the post “was likely to be considered racist.”

The committee went into private session at around 11.45am and will announce its decision publicly once discussions have concluded.

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