Lydney Deputy Mayor quits after Black Lives Matter protest is given the go-ahead

Khady and Eleni are still holding the event on Saturday. Credit: Khady Gueye

A Deputy Mayor in the Forest of Dean has quit after organisers of a Black Lives Matter protest were given the go-ahead to hold the demonstration.

Councillor Tess Tremlett posted on Facebook after Lydney Town Council reversed its decision to request organisers cancel the event.

She said: "Our decision to ignore government guidance regarding mass gatherings has presented me with a moral dilemma which has left me with no other option but to resign."

Councillor Tremlett's resignation is the latest in a series of developments after a Black Lives Matter protest was planned in Lydney.

The town council's Mayor, Councillor Walter Leach, originally wrote to organisers Khady Gueye and Eleni Eldridge urging them to cancel the peaceful demonstration.

In an open letter to the pair, he said the event would be "more damaging to the cause than helpful".

It allegedly followed claims of social distancing concerns within the community.

Mayor Leach said while he supported "the underlying aims" of the movement, cancelling it would show "respect for all lives".

The original later from the town's Mayor caused a huge amount of backlash from protest supporters. Credit: Lydney Town Council

After relentless campaigning by organisers, the Mayor was forced to apologise for the phrases used in the letter and allow the protest to go ahead as planned on Saturday 20 June.

Khady and Eleni announced they were "really pleased" with the outcome, but the saga continued.

The Forest of Dean MP, Mark Harper, then criticised the protest planners for accusing some members of the Gloucestershire town for being racist.

He said, "Calling people 'racist' for objecting to an unlawful large public gathering taking place during these times" did "no service" to the cause and is "hugely insulting to people in Lydney and the wider Forest of Dean."

Mark Harper posted the statement on social media after alleged comments from the protest supporters. Credit: Facebook / Mark Harper

The Deputy Mayor's resignation comes as the latest twist in the ordeal.

The peaceful protest is still scheduled to go ahead in Bathurst Park on Saturday 20 June.