A COUNCILLOR is facing a libel action that could cost her tens of thousands of pounds over comments she posted on Twitter.
Emily Westley, a Labour councillor in the Hollington ward on the borough council for the last three years, has been served with notice of the legal suit by former Conservative councillor Richard Vallery-Peters.
He is furious over her tweets which described him as a ‘criminal’ and incorrectly state he was given a ‘community resolution order for fraudulently wearing military medals and pretending they were his’.
However, Mr Vallery-Peters, a former Royal Navy rating who was councillor for Baird ward for eight years until he lost his seat last year, has never been charged with such offences.
Last July, he was arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation and bailed but the case was dropped by police the following month.
When councillor Westley’s tweets came to his attention he sought legal advice.
“She has shot her mouth off without checking her facts,” said Mr Vallery-Peters. “She has libelled me and I’m going to sue the pants off her.”
“This is out of order. I was arrested but six weeks later the case was dropped as there was no evidence.”
On her webpage for Hastings and Rye Labour Party, councillor Westley, a mum-of-two, states she has recently completed a law degree.
Mr Vallery-Peters added: “It’s incredible that somebody who claims to have knowledge of the law has made the biggest mistake of her life in this way. This could cost her tens of thousands of pounds including costs.”
He says he is no longer affiliated to any political party, having decided not to renew his Conservative Party membership.
It was announced earlier this month that councillor Westley has been shortlisted by Labour as an MEP candidate for the south east region.
Councillor Westley was unavailable for comment.