A Tory councillor accused of calling a gay city council leader a “faggot” has apologised.

Jim Farquharson denied calling Liberal Democrat city leader John Stewart the offensive term and said he had been misheard.

However, he admitted calling Mr Stewart a “fat git” and a “fascist”.

The pair had a private meeting yesterday and Mr Farquharson said he believed the matter was closed.

He told the Press and Journal: “What was alleged was not true, I did not describe him in any homophobic terms at all.

“We shook hands and as far as I understand the matter is now closed. I have learned my lesson from this incident.”

But Mr Stewart said of the apology: “You could break my nose and apologise and I would still have a broken nose.

“Just because someone apologises for something does not make it acceptable behaviour.”

The row started on Monday after Mr Farquharson claimed Mr Stewart was showing preference to a rival Tory faction in the council.

A council official claimed to have overheard Mr Farquharson using the word “faggot” but the councillor claimed he was actually saying “fat git”.