UPDATED No charges over social media rant

Ex-Tory councillor let off after Twitter racism storm with CPS citing 'insufficient evidence'

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A FORMER Conservative councillor and magistrate who was forced to quit his political and public roles over comments he made earlier this year on social media will not face criminal charges.

The Herald can reveal that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has decided not to pursue action against Nick Harrington, citing ‘insufficient evidence’.

Mr Harrington hit the headlines when a tweet that appeared to be making reference to the votes cast during May’s Eurovision Song Contest and future Brexit negotiations was made from his Twitter account.

After Ireland chose not to award any points to the UK’s entry by former X Factor contestant Lucie Jones, Mr Harrington tweeted: “Thanks Ireland. You can keep your f***ing gypsies! Hard border coming folks!” It also emerged that he had previously posted a picture of a scarecrow that his family entered into a competition on Facebook and likened it to black British athlete, Christina Ohuruogu.

He later issued an apology in which he described the posts as ‘foolish’ and ill-judged’. At the time he was an elected member of Warwick District Council, Weston-Under-Wetherley Parish Council, and a magistrate on the Coventry and Warwickshire bench.

In a short statement, Warwickshire Police said: “A man from Leamington Spa was interviewed voluntarily in regards to a complaint about a tweet posted on 13th May. A file was passed to the CPS, who have directed that no further action will be taken.”

A West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service spokesman said: “The police referred this case to us for advice on charge.

“A senior crown prosecutor reviewed the evidence in the case and applied our Code for Crown Prosecutors.

“After careful consideration, it was decided that there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction for any potential criminal charges.”

Mr Harrington could not be contacted for comment.