THE EX-LEADER of Witney Town Council had a vote of no confidence tabled against him due to his social media behaviour, the Witney Gazette can reveal.

Dean Temple resigned from the role last week, despite the cancellation of a full council meeting where he was expected to face the vote.

The motion, which was tabled by fellow councillor Jane Doughty and seconded by Witney deputy mayor Howard Chirgwin, related to Mr Temple’s conduct following a town council meeting on October 8.

At the meeting, councillors discussed whether to accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, but Mr Temple claimed on Twitter afterwards that Labour town councillors had ‘delayed’ passing the motion.

Later tweets from Mr Temple’s account claimed Witney Labour group leader Duncan Enright asked for the motion to be moved so councillors could read the IHRA definition, which Mr Enright denied.

One post read: “It’s not like Witney Labour Party have never seen the document before.

“But fine, we will play by their rules and let them play their silly games.

“The public can see exactly how racist the Labour Party really are.”

Ms Doughty, who did not respond to a request for comment from this paper, called the comments ‘totally unacceptable’ in the motion she submitted on October 24.

The motion read: “We are here to serve the people of Witney on local issues. Councillor Temple has previously been warned about his use of social media.

“Whilst he purports that the views are his own, when he refers to council business and tags Witney Town Council then those views become attached to Witney Town Council.

“His comments are not acceptable and I wish to distance myself from this behaviour, as I am sure other members of the council feel the same.”

It continues: “Whilst social media can be a powerful tool for change, it can also be a dangerous tool if not used wisely; we feel that in this instance it has not been used wisely.

“All members should be aware of their collective responsibilities as councillors and even though someone is given the status of leader of the council, that doesn’t give them the right to act alone - without reference to fellow councillors via meetings.

“In doing so I believe councillor Temple has abused and used his position on the council and that is why we do not believe he is of good standing to be able to lead the council going forward and ask that he steps down from this position with immediate effect.”

Councillors were due to vote on the motion at the meeting set for Monday, which was cancelled last week.

However, less than 24 hours after this was agreed, Mr Temple resigned as leader, citing ‘work commitments’ as the reason.

He will continue as a town councillor for Witney North and defended his decision to stand down.

Mr Temple said: “Those that were in favour of the motion don’t use social media and those that said it wasn’t worth sacking do use it.

“I had to make a choice, my ego or the party.

“The idea of two councillors slagging each other off in public wasn’t something I was going to allow.”

The former leader also claimed Ms Doughty broke group rules by failing to put the allegations to Mr Temple with enough time for him to respond.

Deputy leader David Harvey is currently standing in as interim leader of the council, which is expected to vote for a new chief at the next full council meeting next month.

Meanwhile, Mr Enright revealed himself and fellow Labour councillor, Laura Price, had tabled a new motion to accept the IHRA definition, which will be heard at the next meeting.