A COMPLAINT has been made about the deputy mayor of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council accusing her of supporting conspiracy theories and not backing the democratic process.

The complaint, which the Gazette has seen, was sent to council leader Cllr Ken Rhatigan, highlighting Tweets posted or liked by Cllr Onnalee Cubitt’s Twitter account.

These included one in response to US president Donald Trump, who made false claims that mail voting would lead to “massive fraud and abuse”.

In reply, Cllr Cubitt’s Tweet said: “I am from the UK. I am a local politician. I totally agree with you with regards to postal votes. I think they are wholly inappropriate and open to widespread abuse. They lead to the death of democracy. I would only ever let people use postal votes on an exceptional basis.”

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In another Tweet from Cllr Cubitt’s account made on May 26, she asked: “I want to know how many Britons flown back by HMG on chartered flights from the far flung corners of the earth such as Bangladesh, India and Nigeria tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival?”

The third Tweet that forms part of the complaint is one posted by Donald Trump, which was liked by Cllr Cubitt’s account, in which he stated: “All over the world the Coronavirus, a very bad “gift” from China, marches on. Not good!”

Alex Lee, made the complaint to Cllr Rhatigan following a full council meeting where he questioned Cllr Cubitt’s integrity.

He said: “The future mayor of Basingstoke and Deane expresses some rather derogatory opinions and seems to pedal more than one conspiracy as well as not truly believing in the democratic right to vote via a postal ballot.”

He added: “The actions of Cllr Cubitt in her tweets do not portray an inclusive leader who is due to represent us and therefore shows Basingstoke and Deane to not be an inclusive society.”

Basingstoke Gazette: Cllr Onnalee Cubitt

Mr Lee questioned whether Cllr Cubitt will be expected to attend formal training on diversity and inclusivity.

He added: “Nobody in a public position should be expressing these views, and the public expects better of elected members.”

When the Gazette contacted Cllr Cubitt over the accusations made about various tweets she posted or liked; the deputy mayor said: “We called the Spanish flu Spanish. I think it’s fair to call it the Chinese virus. If you want to call someone a racist for calling a virus Chinese…”

Cllr Cubitt was defending a tweet she liked posted by Donald Trump referring to Covid-19 as “a very bad “gift” from China”.

The World Health Organisation has advised against using terms that link the virus to China to avoid stigmatisation.

Cllr Cubitt attacked the Gazette for publishing her tweets, and said she is entitled to “freedom of speech”.

She added: “The level of journalism is despicable”.

Cllr Cubitt, who has blocked the Gazette from seeing her tweets, said her account is “personal”.

Who is Cllr Onnalee Cubitt? 

Onnalee Cubitt is a Conservative borough councillor who represents the ward of Basing for Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council.

Her occupation as listed on Companies House is a banker and finance director of OHW Limited, a construction firm based in Hartley Wintney. 

Cllr Cubitt is a member of the following committees: audit and accounts, economic, planning and housing and is reserve on the development control committee and community, environment and partnerships committee. She is also vice-chair of the council.

She was elected to 2010 as a Conservative but resigned from the party after a row over comments she had made about the Manydown project in 2012. She stood as an independent before rejoining the party.