The anti-Islam Dutch Freedom Party in the province of Limburg has sacked one of its provincial councillors for describing a Labour party colleague as "a piece of sicked-up halal meat made from a Turkish pig".
The comment was made a year ago by Fredom Party number two Cor Bosman (pictured) in an email to 20 supporters after Labour councillor SelÃ§uk ÃztÃ¼rk gave an interview to a local magazine.
The decision to sack Bosman was taken at an emergency meeting on Friday morning after news of the email leaked to the local press. "We sincerely regret Bosman's upsetting comments," the party said after the meeting in a statement.
According to Limburg media reports, the incident led to the resignation of another PVV councillor last summer. He was angry the local party had not taken action against Bosman, and that local leader Laurence Stassens continued to back him.
PVV member Harm Uringa found the e-mail so offensive that he not only decided to leave the Freedom Party, but went on to set up his own party.
Mr Uringa says he complained at the time to PVV leader Geert Wilders. He is reported to have promised to take action, after Mr Uringa threatened to vote for another party in the elections to the Upper House. Such a move could have led to the PVV winning fewer seats in the Upper House.
Meanwhile, Mr Ãzturk says he is "very upset" about the e-mail. "I think the best thing for me to do is to see with my party tomorrow what steps we should take. At the moment, my response would be too emotional."
Bosman told reporters he had not yet been formally informed of the decision and had a weekend to think things through. The email was meant to be sarcastic, he said. "If I had wanted to be insulting I would have written it differently."
This is not the first time Bosman and the Freedom Party in Limburg have been hit by controversy.
Last year it emerged that Bosman is one of two PVV provincial councillors in Limburg who hires himself as his own party worker. According to the Volkskrant, he earns â¬13,000 a year for his work as councillor plus â¬57,000 a year as party support staff.
The Freedom Party became the biggest party in the province after the March 2011 elections with over 20% of the vote.
But Bosman's expulsion from the party and the resignation of another councillor means the party now controls only eight of the 47 council seats. It is not yet clear if Bosman will leave the council or continue as an independent.
"PVV councillor thrown out of party for Turkish pig' email" Dutch News January 13, 2012
"Freedom Party member expelled for e-mail" Radio Netherlands Worldwide January 13, 2012
Reproduced with permission from Islam Today