1. ITV Report

Councillor sparks outrage after tweeting an image of a leaflet claiming ‘only suckers work’ in England

Councillor Matthew Sephton Credit: MEN SYNDICATION

A Greater Manchester councillor has sparked outrage after tweeting an image of a leaflet seeming to criticise benefits for immigrants - and claiming ‘only suckers work’ in England.

Trafford Tory Matthew Sephton posted an image of a flyer seemingly aimed at foreigners, urging them to come to England to get ‘free’ benefits.

The leaflet reads:

The leaflet goes on to say those who ‘qualify’ can expect to enjoy free housing, utilities, food, medical and transport services, and legal aid, in the UK. It says people can ‘collect for life’, adding that those who want to ‘receive all of this without working for a living’ should ‘contact the benefits agency’.

The image was accompanied with the tweet:

“Tired of your job? Sick of working 40 hour or more each week just to feed your family?

“Would you like to relax all day and still have all the benefits of a full time job?

“If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you should consider moving to England, The Welfare Country.”

– Image posted by Councillor Matthew Sephton
Image posted by Councillor Matthew Sephton Credit: MEN SYNDICATION

“I’m glad that @David_Cameron’s @Conservatives government is restricting & limiting benefits but still more to do...”

– Councillor Matthew Sephton

The post was quickly criticised by Twitter users.

"[PM David Cameron should] disown this racist rant by a Tory councillor".

– Birmingham Erdington MP Jack Dromey

“Amazing level of vileness.”

– Twitter user in reply to Councillor Sephton's post

“You really have no knowledge of welfare or poverty whatsoever do you? Pathetic, uninformed and crass rubbish.”

– Twitter user in reply to Councillor Sephton's post

One simply dubbed the post ‘disgusting’ - and another ‘ignorant’. Councillor Sephton, chairman of the Greater Manchester Conservative group, courted controversy last year after calling migrants who refused to stay at refugee camps ‘ungrateful’ - and that they should be sent back to where they came from.

His comments came amidst a growing refugee crisis across Europe, with thousands fleeing war-torn Syria.

Councillor Sephton, who is campaigning for Britain to leave the EU, did not face any action from the Conservatives.

He said:

“Welfare benefits are an important safety net for many people but in recent years some benefit payments have become a disincentive for some people to work.

"It is for this reason that I support David Cameron’s policy of moving from a high wage, high welfare and high tax economy to one of higher wages, lower welfare and lower taxes.

"My recent comments show exactly that support and were intended to be an illustration of why these government changes are a good thing - so that misleading conceptions can be confined to the history books.”

– Councillor Sephton