Derby

Derby AK-47 pose magistrate Ajit Atwal 'dismissed'

Ajit Atwal Image copyright Ajit Atwal
Image caption Ajit Atwal said the picture was taken on holiday in India

A former councillor who posted a picture of himself holding an AK-47 rifle on Twitter has been been removed from his role as a magistrate.

The photograph of Ajit Atwal, who used to represent the Liberal Democrats on Derby City Council, was taken on holiday in India last year.

In April, Mr Atwal apologised but was still suspended as a magistrate.

The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said his behaviour "amounted to serious misconduct".

Labour colleagues in Derby made calls for Mr Atwal to resign as a councillor when the photo appeared in a national newspaper in March.

Later, he apologised if he had "caused anyone any alarm or distress" but refused to resign as a magistrate.

Mr Atwal lost his other role as a councillor in May's local elections.

A spokesperson for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said: "Mr Ajit Singh Atwal JP, a Magistrate assigned to the Derbyshire Bench, uploaded photographs of himself holding an automatic weapon, which is illegal in the UK, on his Twitter account.

"The photographs were deemed by a conduct panel to have brought the magistracy into disrepute.

"The Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice concluded that this behaviour amounted to serious misconduct and have removed Mr Atwal from the magistracy."

Mr Atwal has yet to comment.

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