Bristol councillor avoids suspension over ‘coconut’ race row

The Bristol city councillor at the heart of the “coconut” race row has avoided a four-week suspension after an adjudication panel upheld her appeal.

Liberal Democrat Shirley Brown was handed a one-month suspension by the authority’s standards committee at the end of the June, after calling Conservative colleague Jay Jethwa a “coconut” at a council budget meeting in February.

The word is used by some black or Asian people as an offensive term to describe someone who is seen to have rejected their own culture and acts as if they are white, and is “brown on the outside but white on the inside”.

Mrs Brown appealed against the decision and written submissions were considered by the Adjudication Panel for England Tribunal Service last Thursday.

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