"Insulting and disappointing". 

That's how the chairman of Basingstoke Chinese Association says he feels about the deputy mayor calling coronavirus the "Chinese flu".

As previously reported in The Gazette, Cllr Onnalee Cubitt said there was no problem with calling the virus as the “Chinese flu”, despite the World Health Organisation denouncing the phrase as discriminatory. 

When contacted by The Gazette to clarify her thoughts on the subject on Sunday, Cllr Cubitt launched into a rant and questioned how many people from “far-flung” countries like Nigeria and Bangladesh tested positive for coronavirus, on arrival to the U.K.

When asked why she chose those countries in particular, she said they had high infection rates but was unable to share exact figures.

Basingstoke Gazette:

Basingstoke Gazette: Cllr Onnalee Cubitt

Speaking to The Gazette tonight, the leader of Basingstoke Chinese Association Jim Wan said it was “not fair or right” to use the term.

The 67-year-old volunteer, who is retired, said he was disappointed to hear the deputy mayor had defended her right to use the word. 

Mr Wan said: “That is not fair and that’s not right. That is insulting.”

When asked whether he thought, he said it was "insulting".

He said he thought it was “nonsense” that the MP Maria Miller had defended the deputy mayor, who had used the term deemed to be offensive and racist.

Jim said Basingstoke was a “really nice” area. By large, he said he had found it has been an inclusive place. He said: “We haven’t had many problems at all.”

When asked whether any of the Chinese community locally had suffered more discrimination since the lockdown came into effect, luckily Jim said not as far as he knew.

But he added: “Like many people, we have been cut off. We have just been spending time at home. Only recently have we started going out again, to do shopping.”

When asked if he had anything else he’d like to add, he said: “I wish everyone in Basingstoke well. Let’s all come together to fight these disease, we should all try to get through this together so we can all return to some kind of normal as soon as possible.”

Since lockdown measures were introduced, both The Met Police and The British Transport Police have reported a rise in crimes against Chinese and Asian people. 

Cllr Cubitt has also been accused of peddling conspiracy theories after claiming postal votes were dangerous and the image of a drunk protester urinating on PC Keith Palmer’s memorial was “staged”.

A complaint has been lodged with the leader of the council, Cllr Ken Rhatigan.