North Wales fire service employee quits amid investigation into alleged posts on far-right website
The clerical worker was being probed over allegations they uploaded material onto a Norway-based site
The fire service employee allegedly wrote about the English Defence League on a far-right websiteThe fire service employee allegedly wrote about the English Defence League on a far-right website
A North Wales fire service employee has quit amid an investigation into alleged anti-Islamic posts made on a far-right website during work time.
The clerical worker, who was based in Colwyn Bay, was being probed over allegations they uploaded material onto a Norway-based website which is described by its critics as “one of the main forums for Islamaphobic debate”.
Articles understood to have been written by the fire service worker included one which suggested that “jihadists” were being recruited by councils in Northern Europe, and the website was allegedly used by them to publicise demonstrations by the far-right English Defence League (EDL).
A raft of other articles apparently written by the worker highlight mainstream UK media stories about offences committed by Muslims.
Other articles focused on crimes committed by immigrants.
The site was quoted in the trial of mass murderer Anders Brevik, who murdered 77 people in 2011 and regularly commented on the forum.
The Daily Post understands that an inquiry into the allegations – first made around three months ago – was carried out by fire service chiefs following complaints made by a member of the public.
The fire service would not reveal the circumstances around the departure, citing data protection rules.
A Freedom of Information request made by a member of the public asking for information about the employee’s internet use during working hours was refused for the same reason.
The fire service’s strategic equality plan states that it is “committed to the elimination of discrimination and promotion of equality and opportunity”.
It adds: “We aim to maintain a culture in which prejudice and discrimination are not tolerated and where staff are able to challenge unacceptable behaviour.”
Martine Aurdal, op-ed editor and political commentator on Norwegian daily newspaper Dagbladet, described the website, saying: “It is the largest Islam-sceptic, right-wing Norwegian web site, founded in 2003 and with a highly active commentary field.
“They have also published their own journal on paper a couple of times.
“The founder is well educated, well formulated and one of the main Islamophobic figures in Norway.
“It is the main for a for Islamophobic debate in Norway.
“The writers typically criticize socialists and social democracy in general and in particular the immigration policy, present negative news about immigrants, political news and articles on religion.”
A spokesman for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service refused to confirm the circumstances of the employee’s departure, but sources told the Daily Post the worker had quit the service.
The spokesman said: “We are aware of the allegations referred to. Any allegations of this nature are treated seriously and they are being investigated. We are not in a position to make any further comments.”
From The Daily Post . 25.08.15. Report by Jez Hemmings