A bisexual councillor in Kent has said it is ‘shocking’ that a Conservative colleague who told him he hoped he would ‘get Aids’ will rejoin his party’s team following a six-month suspension.

In May, independent councillor John Worrow received a voicemail from Conservative Ken Gregory which said: “With a bit of luck, you’ll get Aids.”

After a police investigation, Mr Gregory was cautioned for malicious communication and suspended from the Conservative group for six months.

But Mr Worrow told PinkNews.co.uk this afternoon there was anger at the prospect of Mr Gregory returning to the council at all.

Mr Worrow said: “Many residents feel that the decision for him to remain in the Conservative Party is an insult to those in the area who are living with HIV AIDS.

“On the same day as this shocking decision to allow Ken Gregory to rejoin the Conservatives in six months’ time, I received anonymous hate mail telling me I am going to hell for being bisexual.”

Mr Worrow was clear he was not accusing Mr Gregory of the latest message, and had spoken of fears of a larger homophobic hate campaign before.

Mr Worrow said residents had called for a protest outside Thanet council offices on 12 July at 6pm, an hour before a public council meeting that Mr Gregory is attending, to call for him to resign.

The Conservative group leader had not responded to a request for comment on Mr Gregory’s suspension by the time of publication.

Thanet District Council became the first local authority in Kent to support equal marriage rights for gay couples in April. It was the second council in England, after Southwark, to affirm such a position.