"I didn't know the Scientologists had a church on Tottenham Court Road. Just hurried past in case the stupid rubs off."
Pretty innocuous stuff I would say, and as John says in his Newsnight interview a lot worse has been said about the Church of Scientology by others including Judges.
However the point is, a member of the church has taken umbrage at the comment and reported him to the Ombudsman, who has found that John has a cae to answer under the Code of Conduct and has referred the matter to the City Council's Standards Committee.
I think the Ombudsman's decision is flawed on several counts, firstly and even though John tweets as Councillor John Dixon this comment was made in London whilst he was on a shopping trip and was not connected to his role as a County Councillor.
Secondly, the Ombudsman has to apply a two stage test, the first test is whether a breach of the Code of Conduct had taken place and secondly. whether the breach alleged would likely to lead to a sanction by the Standards Committee. If the Ombudsman believes that the sanction imposed by a Standards Committee would be no higher than a censure then the Ombudsman can use his/her discretion in investigating.
It is doubtful whether John Dixon's alleged breach of the Code of Conduct would have resulted in a sanction higher than a censure and as such the Ombudsman should have exercised his discretion not to investigate.