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Council demands Cameron expel ‘homophobic’ councillor

PinkNews Staff Writer April 21, 2010

Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors in Wirral have demanded that Tory leader David Cameron should expel a councillor who made a remark about “limpwristed boys”.

Denis Knowles, a councillor for Seacombe, was suspended from his party for writing the comment on his Facebook account about gay Labour activists he saw canvassing.

Cllr Knowles, who defected from Labour last year, wrote in March: “An unusual group of boys leafleting in Seacombe this weekend, of the limpwristed variety and definitely NOT local.”

The council voted this week in favour of a motion calling on Mr Cameron to remove Cllr Knowles.

Although the councillor apologised and removed the remark from his Facebook page, Labour attacked Mr Cameron for his “silence” on the issue.

Equalities minister Harriet Harman demanded that he expel the councillor from the party last month. Cllr Knowles is currently suspended pending an investigation.

According to the Wirral News, the motion was put forward by deputy leader of the Labour group Cllr Phil Davies, and demanded “that David Cameron take decisive action to show that homophobia has no place in modern politics today by expelling Councillor Knowles from the Conservative Party forthwith”.

Cllr Davies said: “If we let such remarks to go uncensured it’s a slippery slope and gives carte blanche for these kinds of comments to be ignored.”

Cllr Knowles did not attend the meeting, saying he was caring for his wife who was recovering from a life-threatening illness.

He was defended by his Tory colleague Cllr Ian Lewis, who said: “A silly comment on Facebook is not homophobia.”

Last month, Cllr Knowles told he was “absolutely devastated” that the matter had got this far.

He said he was not homophobic, having worked with Wallasey MP Maria Eagle, who is a lesbian, for ten years before he defected to the Tories last May.

He said: “If I had homophobic tendencies, I would not have been able to work for her.”

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