Ex-Pembroke Dock Mayor censured for image ‘likely to be considered racist’
Katy Jenkins, local democracy reporter
A former Mayor of Pembroke Dock has been censured by the county council’s standards committee after it ruled he had breached the code of conduct by publishing an image “likely to be interpreted as racist” on Facebook.
It was also found that his actions could be considered as bringing his office into disrepute.
Members of Pembrokeshire County Council’s standards committee held a hearing in private yesterday regarding an alleged breach by Peter Kraus, who resigned from Pembroke Dock town council in 2020 following a row about the image he shared on social media.
The image showed a group of monkeys on top of a car at a safari park, paired with an image of black protesters stood on a police car during riots. At the time, Mr Kraus said he had “never in my whole life been racist”.
Deliberations continued for a number of hours yesterday before committee chairman Corrina Kershaw announced the decision that it “formally resolved in relation to the one disputed fact that former councillor Kraus and any reasonable person would be aware that the image published on Facebook by former councillor Kraus was likely to be interpreted racist and/or derogatory to Black people.”
Ms Kershaw added that it was agreed that Mr Kraus gave the impression that he was acting in the role of member and had failed to comply with the code of conduct under two paragraphs “by not showing respect and consideration for others” and had “conducted himself in a manner that could easily be regarded as bringing his office or authority into disrepute.”
Under section 4a of the code of conduct, relating to carrying out duties with due regard of equality opportunity, the committee found there had been no breach by Mr Kraus.
She added that the committee resolved that Mr Kraus should be “censured” in relation to those breaches and that a fully reasoned report of the committee’s decision will be published in due course.
Sanctions available to standards committee included no action, censure in accordance with Standing Orders, suspension and disqualification.
Pembroke Dock Town Council confirmed that Mr Peter Kraus has resigned in June last year in a post shared on their website.
The statement said: “The office of Pembroke Dock Town Council have received a letter of resignation from Mr Peter Kraus.
“Members of the Council would like to thank Peter for all his hard work which he has undertaken over the years throughout the Town and for his continued efforts within the Town Council.”