Conservative politician quits after fellow Tory waged campaign of ‘homophobia, bullying and intimidation’
A Tory councillor has quit his local party group after being targeted with homophobic abuse by a fellow Conservative.
Richard Siddall resigned from his Conservative party group after he faced anti-gay comments from Adrian Fluker, another Tory councillor in the region.
Siddall, 60, said Fluker shouted “hello, sailor” at a meeting of Maldron District Council in Essex, according to BBC News.
At the same meeting, he made a “cut throat gesture” to Siddall after he did not vote in line with the party.
Furthermore, Siddall said there were numerous other occasions where Fluker made comments about his sexuality. On one occasion, he said Fluker joked about what he was “doing at home with his husband”.
“It has been a shock to me that it has occurred at this time in my life and in 2020,” Siddall said.
Tory councillor found to have bullied gay politician – but colleagues voted against sanctions.
An independent review into Fluker’s conduct found that he had been bullying and harassing Siddall since February 2019.
The council voted to suspend Fluker from some of his duties as a result of his misconduct – however, Siddall decided to quit the party group after two-thirds of his colleagues voted against imposing sanctions on the disgraced councillor.
Siddall said he could not work with people who “support homophobia, bullying and intimidation”.
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“As a result of the majority of the members of the Conservative group voting against the joint standards sanctions at last week’s full council meeting, I have made the decision to leave the Conservative group at MDC,” Siddall said, according to Clacton Gazette.
“I will now sit as a non-aligned independent Conservative, working for the best of the council and the district.”
Siddall said Fluker issued an apology during a meeting in November 2019, but he said this was “meaningless” because he never apologised personally, nor did he mention him in his address.
Fluker has been suspended from all council committees and working groups for a 12-month period after he was accused of bringing the council into disrepute through his actions.
PinkNews has contacted Adrian Fluker for comment.