A COMPLAINT has been filed against a Cotswold councillor who was filmed allegedly making a sign at a voter after visiting their home unannounced.

Tetbury resident Sara McMahon claims Cotswold District Councillor Chris Twells flicked the V sign after turning up at her home uninvited on February 5 – a claim the Independent councillor rejects.

Mrs McMahon says he went to speak to her about a post she put on Facebook about the upcoming town council election in which she raised concerns over his behaviour.

Cllr Twells, who was elected as a Liberal Democrat but was later suspended by his party and later resigned from the party due to an employment dispute, is also standing to become a town councillor as a To Change Tetbury Town Council candidate.

Mrs McMahon said the encounter was unnerving and asked him how he found out where she lived. “He also knew when I bought my house,” Mrs McMahon said.

“We then had an uncomfortable exchange back and forth about the upcoming election and my perception of his unprofessional behaviour. He then walked away and as he did so he turned and made a rude gesture towards me. I found the whole experience unnerving.

“He said he was canvassing in the area, but I don’t believe this is the case. My neighbour has shared surveillance footage which shows him doing the gesture, turning left out of my driveway and walking past the next house.

“I believe he came to speak to me directly and this feels inappropriate considering the circumstances. [I believe] Mr Twells’ behaviour online and at my house has been unprofessional and intimidating.

“To then add in [that] gesture shows that he is not fit to be councillor in Tetbury, or anywhere else.”

Responding to a question from a resident who wanted to know who his fellow candidates were, Cllr Twells told them to “get someone to read [the persons nominated] and in their case quite slowly”. In another post referring to other town councillors he said: “I love the way they all start ‘my family has lived in Tetbury since 1066’ like we’re meant to be impressed by that.”

Cllr Twells, who also sits on a council 150 miles away in Salford, claims he canvassed Ms McMahon as is standard during local elections and rejects that he made an offensive gesture.

He claims he missed a reply from Mrs McMahon on Facebook the day before he visited her in which she declined to be canvassed.

He said: “That is not a ‘two fingered salute’ – I’m not in the habit of swearing at electors! Perhaps it is a gesture for emphasis as part of our conversation.

“She is registered to vote so her address data is provided to me, as a candidate, for electoral purposes only. It is not in the public domain.

“My conversation was brief and polite. After a short exchange it became clear that she was not voting for me. I left the property and certainly made no offensive gesture.”

“This is a storm in a teacup. In a democratic society, when you’re campaigning, candidates will meet people who disagree with you and that’s absolutely fine.”

A Cotswold District Council spokesperson said they could not comment on ongoing complaints.

“We take all complaints submitted to the council seriously and deal with them in accordance with our policies and national guidance,” they said.

The other people standing in the town council election on February 15 are fellow To Change Tetbury Town Council candidates Calypso Barnard, Alison Figueiredo and Independent Xam Macutay-Malloch.