A Labour council candidate has admitting bombarding his openly gay rival with homophobic abuse.

David Bradley, 29, of Bristol, sent 33 text messages to Ed Bramall, 33, calling him “creepy” and “vile”.

The messages also called gay people “bum rapists” and “gay lords”, the Bristol Evening Post reports.

Bradley, a failed Labour candidate for the seat of Weston-Super-Mare in the general election, lost out to Mr Bramall in the contest to represent Whitchurch Park ward at this year’s local elections.

His hate campaign began shortly afterwards.

Bradley pleaded guilty to harassment at Bristol magistratres’ court and will be sentenced at a later date.

His solicitor Anna Van Wely said he had been suffering a “difficult period” in his life. She said he was now receiving counselling and had cut down his drinking.

“I think it is probably the case that this man has been suffering from a mental health problem for some time,” she said.

Mr Bramall said the messages were “unpleasant” but he was not frightened by them.

“[Bradley] clearly has some mental health issues,” he said. “I don’t really hold any malice towards him. I just think it’s sad that he has done it and got himself in this situation.”

A South West Labour spokesperson said Bradley had been suspended by the Labour Party.