Norfolk candidate hastily deletes obscene tweets

Phil Trask abusive tweets
Phil Trask’s abusive tweets

A candidate in a Norfolk by-election this week appears to have deleted obscene social media tweets at the time he was chosen by his party for the seat. But screen shots show ‘a glimpse of his true colours’.

Philip Trask is the Conservative candidate in a county council by-election to be held in the Gaywood South seat in Kings Lynn this week.  He describes himself as a ‘veteran’ and football and boxing referee.

His Twitter account has been set to private so that only his followers can see his tweets.  It is called @BigPhil820.  The content which has caused offence includes abusive and inflammatory language, as well as a profile picture of what appears to be Mr Trask in the bath.

Screenshot of BigPhil820 twitter profile
Screenshot of BigPhil820 twitter profile

Deleted obscene tweet

One entry, to a journalist and dated only days before its deletion, said:

“You are such a c**t it’s beyond words.  Attention seeking p***k.”

Obscene tweet to journalist
Obscene tweet to journalist

Usually, when an account is made private its contents are hidden from everyone but his followers. However, screen shots of some tweets were taken by an interested party using the Google search function, which were preserved in its cache.

At the time that account was made private, Mr Trask opened a new Twitter account. This coincided with his being chosen as a Conservative candidate. 

His old account shows bath pictures and a bare chested and unshaven Philip Trask, ostentatiously drinking beer in front of motorbikes and a union flag, with the words: ‘Born to ride’.  But the new account features him holding a small child and dressed in suit and tie.

Gaywood South by-election

The Gaywood South seat has become vacant because fellow Conservative, Thomas Smith, resigned the post only four weeks after winning the position last May.

It is understood that this has caused resentment among many voters locally, because of the waste of both time and public money.

We approached both Mr Trask and his agent, Councillor Ian Sherwood, several times for comment about the tweets.  But neither responded to our calls.

Labour candidate comment

“Gaywood South needs confidence that candidates have the right characteristics to represent our community,” says Labour candidate Micaela Bartrum.  “I’m concerned at what Phil Trask seems to have posted, but even more concerned about the apparent hiding of his social media accounts from public access, and what else may be on there.

“This doesn’t give me confidence that he is honest and trustworthy.  Our community has been badly let down by Conservative politicians, with the previous Tory councillor winning an election in May only to resign weeks later, forcing this election.

“Voters will have to decide if they want to be represented by someone who has been so abusive and shown a glimpse of his true colours.”

Not a local candidate

The Liberal Democrat candidate is Rob Colwell, who says: “It’s for the Conservatives how they vet their candidates.

“But after talking to voters in recent weeks, I know most would prefer somebody who lives locally, understands the community and will serve the next four years, since the election was caused by the previous Conservative councillor moving to London just weeks after being elected.”

In May, the Conservatives won the seat with 908 votes, then Labour 724, Liberal Democrats with 228 and UKIP with 99.  This time all four parties are standing again, plus an independent who campaigns on street parking.

The Gaywood South by-election takes place on Thursday, 29 July. 

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