A Tory councillor who was suspended from his party for making a remark about “limpwristed boys” on Facebook joined Liverpool’s first Pride this weekend.

Denis Knowles, a councillor for Seacombe, was cleared of homophobia after apologising for the comment about gay Labour activists in March.

At the time, Labour MPs Angela Eagle and Harriet Harman called for him to be sacked.

Mr Knowles joined Saturday’s parade, marching with HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) and LGBTory. He wore a t-shirt with THT’s logo.

He told PinkNews.co.uk: “I was made up to be able to join the march. I have plenty of gay friends and I’m only too happy to be supporting groups which promote equality.

“I was a little nervous [that I would be unwelcome] but I have joined Wirral THT and they encouraged me to go along.

“I made some friends and it was great to be supporting THT and groups which promote equality and diversity.”

Matthew Sephton, LGBTory’s chairman, said: “It was great to have Denis in the parade with both THT and LGBTory. He enjoyed the day and even helped out on the LGBTory stall for a little while.

“It is important to have the visual support and presence of elected representatives at these events whenever possible and to have Denis join us not only was an illustration of the support that Liverpool Pride has had from Conservative-led Wirral Council but of how seriously Denis has taken the findings of the investigation into his alleged homophobia.

“I know that Denis has also been working closely with his local THT branch and I’m glad to hear about that. Liverpool Pride was a fantastic event for its first year and we feel privileged to have taken part in it, in one of the UK’s premier and historic yet modern cities.”