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Tory councillor in Thanet left homophobic message on bisexual colleague’s voicemail

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  1. It is completely wrong that people like this are allowed to hold any public office. He is a bigot and should be barred from any position of responsibility because he cannot be trusted to act without his bigoted views clouding the issue.

  2. I was witness to a recent meeting of Thanet District Council (about night flights) and was appalled at the conduct of many of the councillors. Ken Gregory has himself held his position since 1995 and clearly stagnation has set in.It seems to me that they operate like a dysfunctional family. Many are petty, lack integrity, and any expected degree of emotional intelligence. Calling somebody up and leaving threatening messages is simply childish, immature, and certainly not indicative of the qualities one can justly expect from anyone holding public office. He needs to be gone (along with a few other councillors on Thanet District Council).

  3. With the greatest of respect to its residents, Kent quite a backward place, even in its more built up areas. I remember the time Bromley council banned civil partnerships and retained Section 28 a year or so after it was repealed.

    I’ve also lived in Canterbury as a student and can say the attitude of many of the locals left a lot to be desired.

  4. How mature

  5. We found the same with the local labour party in Crewe, their line was ‘we don’t want those kind of people in our community’, now that Cheshire East have taken over they have to abide by the Equality laws and a future town council whether labour or conservative dominated will too.

  6. How long will it be before he’s back in the Tory fold?

  7. Spanner1960 1 Jun 2012, 7:56am

    I find this sort of behaviour unbelievable, and even worse that the police dismiss it with a caution and both the council’s ruling body and the Conservative party allow this completely irresponsible and offensive cretin to hold any kind of public office. He should be sacked immediately.

    1. Not sure I would call it worse.

      The one benefit of the caution is that the councillor responsible for the vile voicemail must have admitted his criminal conduct as it is not possible to caution someone who denies an offence.

      I would say I am surprised that a caution was deemed responsible as there is an element of breach of trust given the standing of the councillor (or supposed standing) in the community as a elected official.

  8. How can people like this be allowed to serve in public office? He will be offending many of his constituents (unknown to him) who are LGBT. What these bigots forget is that many of their constituents will be closeted LGBT. or have relatives who are amongst LGBT.out or otherwise.

  9. Katie Kool-eyes 1 Jun 2012, 8:55am

    If this stupid and vile man has any decency in him, he will resign now such behavior has been brought to the publics attention.

    If he still feels he should cling on to office, the party (tories) should simply remove him from office.

    If this was remarks regarding race or colour, he would be out of office quicker than this article would be out to print!

    It’s times like this when actions speak louder than words. There is no room for this outrageous behavior in todays society.

  10. J Cartier 1 Jun 2012, 8:56am

    The best thing to ever come out of Thanet is the road out.
    I lived there many years ago and will never forget how homophobic it was.
    I was told at the door of a nightclub in Margate in the mid nineties that I was only allowed to bring one gay friend in as the straights didnt like it.
    A number of my gay friends commited suicide in that town. I hate the place.

    1. I think thats a little unfair given that Thanet was the second council in England to have a vote supporting equal marriage.

    2. I can understand your judgement based on past experience, however, everything is in process and that includes Thanet. I know many who have moved here, myself included, who are contributing significantly to a change in ethos. Margate now has a real burgeoning arts community and historically we can see where that will lead (take Mykonos or Ibiza of the 1960’s / 70’s or even Brighton of the 1960’s). Change comes not from bigoted councillors but from the community who stands up to them. I can assure you that in time Thanet will have another more libertarian identity and the support structures that go with it fro people like the friends you sadly lost.

      1. Peter & Michael 1 Jun 2012, 4:52pm

        We hope to come and visit Margate again during the summer although when we came in 2010, we found it too straight and not at all welcoming for us.

  11. Good to hear that he has been suspended from the local Conservative group – although I would have thought being cautioned by police for homophobic malicious communications against a fellow councillor should have led to being summarily being expelled from the local party.

    Similar actions should be considered by the national party – strange Baroness Warsi (usually keen to be a media whore on issues of party discipline is being silent on the issue!).

    The National Standards board for England should investigate.

    The individual councillor should also resign his seat.

    Behaviour of this nature is incompatible with serving as an elected official to represent his electorate (including his LGBT electorate!).

  12. He’s been ‘suspended’ from the Tory group?

    Permanent expulsion is a more suitable remedy.

    However I expect Mr Gregory will be back in the Tory fold pretty soon.

    It’s the Tory Party after all – a party where the grassroots support is in large part, horrifically hateful and bigotted.

    1. I agree with your point about permanent expulsion, dAVID

      I sense (maybe wrongly) that this is an example of an organisation being overly cautious about immediate expulsion due to fear of legal action. They often prefer to go to the expense and time of an investigation (even if the facts are crystal clear!)

      1. Sister Mary Clarence 1 Jun 2012, 5:10pm

        Surely Stu, you of all people would be aware that there is a process to be followed before he can be expelled …. which I have no doubt he will be

        1. Yes there is a procedure to be followed.

          However, that procedure allows for summary expulsion where the circumstances are appropriate.

          i would argue in this instance – given that he has admitted his criminal guilt (otherwise he would have been ineligible for a caution), given that this is misconduct towards another elected official, given that this is homophobia, given that he has brought the party and the council into disrepute etc etc – is a case where summary expulsion is appropriate.

  13. Robert in S. Kensington 1 Jun 2012, 12:44pm

    He’s no different than some of those back benchers who although they wouldn’t necessarily say such a thing, probably think it. They just don’t like us and hope that we’d all disappear. The Tory party still has a rotten core and it needs to be weeded out, permanently.

  14. How does one get appointed to the “hung council”? I’m sure they’re all incredibly proud whenever they share their credentials lol

  15. When will the Police get past merely cautioning people like this and enforce the Law properly and charge such idiots!!!! ????????????

    1. I agree.

      Police have to follow guidance from CPS on charging/cautioning people.

      If someone has no previous convictions (which is highly likely to have been the case if a caution was considered) and the offence being considered is isolated in occurance and had limited impact on the victim then a caution is advised.

      I disagree with the conclusion the police came to – but its a fault with the system, not the decision making.

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