Statement about the Lord Mayor
A Stoke-on-Trent City Council spokesman said: “The city council takes very seriously the conduct of councillors and officers. Stoke-on-Trent prides itself on being a diverse and multi-cultural city and it goes without saying that we should always ensure the city council is an authority based on equality and fairness. Councillor Barnes has taken the decision to refer herself through the council’s standards process, which is responsible for ensuring that councillors operate in a way that adheres to the members code of conduct. The referral will be independently reviewed as part of the standards process, and it is inappropriate to comment further until this work has been done.”
Councillor Jackie Barnes said: “I have taken the decision to self-refer through the council’s standards process because I hold the office of the Lord Mayor, and my role as a councillor, in the highest regard. I am truly sorry that any of my actions may have caused distress or offence to anyone. That was not and would never be my intention. I hope that in my duties as Lord Mayor and as a councillor, residents will have seen that I treat everyone I meet with respect. I am proud to be a part of such a diverse city.
“Over the past 48 hours, I have looked long and hard through my social media feed. I have shared content on a whole range of subjects from different perspectives. I can see that a few of these may have caused offence. I deeply regret this. I will take these posts down. Again I apologise for any offence caused and will follow the due standards process.”