Marc Cranfield-Adams, a former Richmond counsellor has complained to the chairman of the regional employment tribunal board after a tribunal member made what he deemed to be an anti-gay comment.

Mr Cranfield-Adams brought his case to an employment tribunal after he became depressed and suffered a nervous breakdown allegedly caused by harassment by staff at the Specialist Schools Trust.

During the hearing, panel member, William McGinniss, a labour party member and former council candidate said: “So it would not matter someone were left or right-wing or engaged in any form of sexual deviancy?”

Mr Cranfield-Adams interrupted him saying that he was ” taken aback about that comment about sexual depravity. It indicates prejudice in my view.”

The case was suspended and Mr Cranfield Adams told the Richmond and Twickenham Times that he had “lodged a formal letter of complaint with the regional chairman of the tribunal asking that the hearing be aborted while he conducted an investigation of my complaint.

“I believe the use of the term ‘sexual deviancy’ in relation to a person’s sexual orientation to be wholly inappropriate and possibly illegal, more surprisingly as the case before the panel was brought under legislation designed to tackle homophobia and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.”

On receiving the letter, the Chairman, John Warren, called the parties to an immediate meeting and announced a full investigation into the incident.