Lib Dem councillor resigns after being called ‘dirty bloody homosexual’
A Lib Dem councillor in Somerset has resigned, and condemned homophobic bullying from councillors in other parties.
Sam Phripp, 22, had been one of the youngest councillors in the country when he was elected to Mendip District Council three years ago, aged 19, and last year was elected to Somerset County Council.
However, he has announced he is stepping down from his role at Somerset Council, after experiencing homophobic bullying.
He wrote in a blog post: “One of the main reasons I’m resigning is because it’s becoming almost impossible to do my job properly against the obstruction coming from other politicians.
“I’ve always been happy to work across party boundaries to get things done. As far as I’m concerned, as soon as the elections are over, we all work together for the good of our areas.
“I’ve been met with such resistance, and – at times – such hostility, intimidation and bullying that I simply can’t and won’t go on any further.
“We have a real question to ask ourselves about why ‘real’ people don’t get involved in politics.
“I have a few of the answers, and they’re all reasons I’m stepping back. During attendance at my first ever Council Meeting, my partner overheard me being referred to as ‘that dirty bloody homosexual’.
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“I’ve had time taken off sick characterised as time taken off on holiday.
“I’ve been chased down the road by a Conservative candidate shouting at me because I’d been speaking to local people outside of a shop.
“I’ve been harassed on Twitter to the point of having to block and report people – something I always vowed I’d never do.
“I was told that I’d only won a seat on the County Council because I lied (note, I didn’t, and haven’t lied…), I was also told that during recent elections activists from other parties had gone door to door telling people that I was gay – as if it would be a reason not to vote for me.
“If ever we ask ourselves why more ‘normal’ people don’t want to stand for election, please take that as a 101 from me.”
Somerset County Council said it will not be investigating the claims.