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Thanet councillor hits back at Sunday Times columnist Rod Liddle describing some residents as 'virus-addled plebs'

A councillor says he is "absolutely disgusted" by a national newspaper column describing some people in Thanet as "virus-addled plebs".

Cllr George Kup, who represents Birchington South Ward in Thanet, hit back at Sunday Times columnist Rod Liddle for his piece in today's edition in which he airs his views about Kent being placed in Tier 3.

Cllr George Kup, of Birchington South Ward, Thanet, has defended the area
Cllr George Kup, of Birchington South Ward, Thanet, has defended the area

The article – titled 'The Garden of England, in tier 3? This can only end in class war' – made Mr Liddle's views clear.

He wrote: "The utter ignominy, the shame, the anger.

"The county of Kent was placed bodily in tier 3, all because the ghastly, virus-addled plebs in Thanet can't stop breathing over one another as they swallow jellied eels in some dilapidated phlegm-strewn seaside slum.

"Does the government not understand that we in proper Kent have nothing in common with those awful people?"

He continued that "Thanet and bloody Faversham" were not what Julius Caesar meant when he said Cantium was the home of civilised people, adding: "A night out in Margate would have disabused the bloke of that pretty quickly."

The seafront at Minnis Bay, Birchington
The seafront at Minnis Bay, Birchington

His comments left Tory Cllr Kup fuming. In an email to KentOnline, titled "How dare you single out Thanet", he wrote: "I am absolutely disgusted by what I have read in this article.

"I have lived in Thanet all of my life, and yes Thanet has some problems, but that can be said for anywhere, surely?

"Let us not forget how amazing Thanet is and I actually feel lucky that I live in Thanet.

"We have the most beautiful and breath-taking coastline, where you can witness the most gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.

"In Thanet we are a community of hard working, and strong-willed people, that during hard times – like the one we are currently going through – pull together and make sure we come through any situation stronger.

"I believe the reasons that Thanet has seen such a rise in cases is not the fault of Thanet residents but because we saw thousands of people flock down to enjoy our beaches.

"To get through this hard situation, that is Covid, it is no good calling people names and singling out one particular district. If anything Covid is a time where we come together and support one another to make sure that we can all get through this."

Read more: All the latest news from Thanet

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