'Sanctimonious, pompous trout': Former Merton Tory leader Richard Hilton in war of words with successor Oonagh Moulton
A furious councillor has branded a rival a "sanctimonious, pompous trout" on social networking website Twitter.
Councillor Richard Hilton, who furiously quit the Conservative Party in May before joining UKIP, has attacked former Tory colleague and rival for the party leadership Oonagh Moulton in a spat over Plebgate.
The councillor, who represents Lower Morden ward, was defending former Government Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell MP, who was accused of calling police officers "f***ing plebs" outside the gates of Downing Street last year.
Coun Hilton tweeted Coun Moulton, who is now Merton Conservatives' leader: "easy to be sanctimonious, pompous trout rushing to judgement without evidence. He [Mr Mitchell] paid for something he didn't do".
The salvo was volleyed at Coun Moulton after she tweeted on October 17: "We can wish and certainly expect civilised behaviour from our elected reps but sadly that doesn't appeal to all" on October 17.
There is no love lost between the two councillors since Coun Moulton took over the leadership from Coun Hilton after only six weeks in charge in May. Coun Hilton had himself ousted Coun Debbie Shears after challenging for the leadership twice.
But after internal disputes continued within the party during his tenure, Coun Hilton called for a leadership election less than two months and lost to Coun Moulton.
The latest public row last Thursday went on for three hours and began after the UKIP councillor tweeted: "What a shame some where so quick to rush to judgement on Mitchell and the #Plebgate row. Even local Tory Leader @oonaghmoulton for example!" at 7.26am.
It took only half an hour for the Coun Moulton to take the bait, replying with: "@RichardHilton1 given your record on use of language and behaviour I have no doubt you think it ok to swear at police officers - I don't!"
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