Small Heath councillor under investigation for social media posts about Covid-19

Cllr Shabina Bano has apologised “wholeheartedly” for her comments

A newly-elected Labour councillor is under investigation for social media posts and her views regarding coronovirus.

Councillor Shabina Bano, who represents the Small Heath ward, espoused sceptical views that lockdowns would not end until “a certain number of deaths” were recorded.

The Facebook posts, unearthed by the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), were posted in 2020.

Cllr Shabina Bano (Lab: Small Heath)

Replying to one individual post in April 2020 about coronavirus deaths being exaggerated, councillor Bano said: “Well I’m sure the government has to reach a certain number of deaths before lockdown ends. So they [sic] playing the game at our own expense.”

Another comment by councillor Bano on a post about two people suffering allergic reactions to the Pfizer vaccine, published in December 2020, said: “Six dying means nothing. Masses have to die before any legal action can be taken. Snd [sic] I’m sure the company has that covered. Out of 10,000 maybe 800 have to die before anything can be done.”

Councillor Bano was elected a new councillor for the Small Heath ward with 2,142 votes – a majority of 137 against her runner up, Labour councillor Saqib Khan.

Cllr Shabina Bano social media post

What has Cllr Bano said about her comments?

Councillor Bano told the LDRS she apologised “wholeheartedly” for the comments, and recognised they were “deeply inappropriate”.

“I am not an anti-vaxxer and I am grateful for the vaccination against Covid. In 2021 I volunteered my time to the community, delivering workshops promoting the understanding of Covid 19 and tackling the misconceptions of Covid.

“This was something I felt I needed to do, having been very poorly with Covid. I have actively encouraged my friends, family, and community to get their vaccines too.

“I am dedicated to serving and representing the people of Small Heath who have put their trust in me.”

Cllr Shabina Bano social media post

What has Birmingham Labour said about her comments?

A Birmingham Labour spokesperson said: “We will be looking into these comments and will ensure that our members are reminded about the conduct that is expected of them on social media.”

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