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Shameless councillor who was caught on CCTV flicking the V at a resident (who also saw him do it) insists he DIDN’T and instead claims the entire episode is a ‘storm in a teacup’


A district councillor who was caught on CCTV flicking the V at a resident after a canvassing visit, has denied claims the he did it — and labelled the episode as a ‘storm in a teacup’.

Cotswold District Councillor Chris Twells was accused of holding up two fingers towards Sara McMahon outside her home in Tetbury. 

The interaction with Twells came shortly after Sara was vocal about her thoughts on Twells’s ‘unprofessional’ manner on a local community Facebook group.

She said Twells flicked the V sign at her when he ‘unexpectedly’ turned up at her house uninvited on 5 February.

Twells has denied the claims and said his actions were a ‘gesture for emphasis.’

Councillor Chis Twells has denied claims he made an offensive gesture and said his actions were a 'gesture for emphasis'

Councillor Chis Twells has denied claims he made an offensive gesture and said his actions were a ‘gesture for emphasis’ 

Councillor Twells was elected as a Liberal Democrat but was later suspended by his party and resigned from them due to an employment dispute.

The Tetbury with Upton ward councillor also sits as an Independent on Salford City Council 160 miles away.

Sara, who works as a teacher, said: ‘The page is supposed to be a community site but it has turned a bit vitriolic recently.

‘Chris has been replying to comments and posts on there in a very unprofessional manner – sarcastic and just downright rude.

‘I’m a teacher and if I had behaved in this way I would lose my job.

‘So two weeks ago, on the Sunday night, I called him out for being unprofessional, but I was very polite.

‘I just said ‘people in elected positions should be role models – for this reason, you won’t be getting my vote’.

Councillor Twells was elected as a Liberal Democrat but was later suspended by his party and resigned from them due to an employment dispute

Councillor Twells was elected as a Liberal Democrat but was later suspended by his party and resigned from them due to an employment dispute

‘He sent me a Facebook message later just saying ‘hey’ – I didn’t respond, but an hour and a half later he said, ‘Have we got a problem here?’.’

After deleting the ‘concerning’ messages, Sara went to bed and the next day, at around 2:45pm none other than Twells was knocking at her door.

Sara said: ‘It was such a shock.

‘I asked him how he knew where I lived – to which he said it was on the electoral register.

‘He told me he was canvassing – but he had no leaflets or anything.

‘He said, ‘you bought this house in 2015’ and I was like you’re doing research into me? That is super creepy.

‘I said I had actually lived here since 2007, to which he asked where I lived before then!’.

Sara described Twells’s demeanour throughout the whole exchange as ‘super defensive’.

She added: ‘I called him out on his behaviour saying it was so unprofessional.

‘He turned away and walked about three to four steps, and he flipped me two fingers as I was stood in the doorway!’

‘I witnessed it.

‘You can see on the CCTV as well that he walked towards and along the road, but looks back at me several times.

‘I just went back inside, my son was like ‘mummy what happened?’ – I could not believe what had just happened.’

After discussing the event with numerous people, Sara made a complaint to Cotswolds Council and called the police on the Tuesday night.

When approached for comment, Twells told the Cotswold Journal he canvassed Ms McMahon as is standard during local elections and rejects that he made an offensive gesture.

He claims he missed a reply from Mrs McMahon on Facebook the day before he visited her in which she declined to be canvassed.

He said: ‘That is not a ‘two fingered salute’ – I’m not in the habit of swearing at electors. Perhaps it is a gesture for emphasis as part of our conversation.

‘She is registered to vote so her address data is provided to me, as a candidate, for electoral purposes only. It is not in the public domain.

‘My conversation was brief and polite.

‘After a short exchange it became clear that she was not voting for me. I left the property and certainly made no offensive gesture.

‘This is a storm in a teacup. In a democratic society, when you’re campaigning, candidates will meet people who disagree with you and that’s absolutely fine.’

Councillor Twells has been contacted for further comment.  



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