More than 1,000 people have signed a petition demanding the resignation of an Oxfordshire UKIP councillor who blamed recent floods on equal marriage – however officials say he cannot be forced to stand down.
In a statement, Henley-on-Thames Town Council said it “strongly refuted” any suggestion that David Silvester’s views reflected those of the town council.
It said it had no powers to make Mr Silvester resign, although 12 complaints had been made to the local authority – including calls for him to resign or be removed.
It was after Simon Kirby, the Conservative MP for Brighton Kemptown, spoke of his pride at the city’s large gay community and its “nearly always very sunny” weather.
Earlier this week, Actor and author Nicholas Pegg recorded a spoof Radio 4 Shipping Forecast, aimed at mocking UKIP’s latest blunder.
Weather-related parodies of Mr Silvester’s remarks have been doing the rounds on social media – along with a fictional weather service Twitter account called UKIPWeather.
UKIP’s official position is that it supports same-sex civil partnerships but opposes same-sex marriages. The first same-sex marriages will be held in March.
South Oxfordshire’s district council can appoint an independent investigator to find out if there has been a breach of the council’s code of conduct.
The strongest sanction the council can take against Mr Silvester is to issue a reprimand.