Lambeth Labour councillor and ex-mayor resigns over offensive tweets

Sienna Rodgers

Philip Normal, a former Lambeth mayor known for creating “La” T-shirts, has resigned as a Labour councillor and as a candidate after apologising for past tweets that he described as “clearly offensive and discriminatory”.

“I have today resigned as a Lambeth councillor and a Lambeth Labour candidate for Oval ward. I want to apologise again to everyone who I have caused deep hurt and pain to due to my past social media posts,” Normal tweeted today.

“I’m proud to have been a ward councillor for Oval and Mayor of Lambeth and I am sorry that my past actions from before I was elected have undermined the positive work that Lambeth Labour councillors do to advance equality in our diverse communities.”

In tweets posted by Normal between 2011 and 2015, he referred to trans people as “tranny”, described Whitechapel in London as “aggressively Muslim” and said: “My new boyfriend calls me a Nazi in bed. #love”, among other comments.

He also tweeted about “the Chinese illegal immigrants of Camden” in 2010, and in 2011 used the hashtag “#bigblackmanandhesnotsuckingonmydick” to describe a man on a bus and asked why “some Muslim women walk like penguins” in 2011.

It is understood that complaints have been received and are being assessed. A Labour spokesperson said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures, and any appropriate action is taken.”

On Wednesday, Normal announced that he had referred himself to the Labour Party for investigation and tweeted: “I am profoundly sorry for the content of some of my historic tweets. I sincerely apologise to everyone who has seen them and who I have insulted by their contents.”

“Reading them now I am horrified and deeply disappointed in myself. They are clearly offensive and discriminatory. They do not reflect my views and values today,” the councillor added.

“These messages were written before I was active in the Labour Party. Since being elected as a local councillor, I have been a dedicated campaigner for equality and against homophobia, transphobia, sexism, racism, Islamophobia or any other form of discrimination.”

Normal, who is HIV positive, raised money for the Terrence Higgins Trust by selling “La” T-shirts inspired by miniseries It’s a Sin, which was broadcast on Channel 4 last year and raised awareness of the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s.

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