Tory councillor accused of bad taste over gay joke

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A Tory councillor in Brentwood who made a joke about promoting gay rights and help for domestic violence victims has been accused of being offensive.

Keith Parker, the councillor for Brizes and Doddinghurst ward, remarked at a committee meeting last week that the “scream team will be conversing with the queen team”.

Following the meeting, he was criticised by Labour and Lib Dem councillors for the remarks.

Lib Dem Cllr Karen Chilvers told the Brentwood Gazette she had made a formal complaint to the council. Chilvers added that Parker’s comments were “offensive to anyone who has suffered domestic violence or is homosexual”.

Labour leader Mike Le Surf said the words were “inappropriate” and that he had heard homophobic, racist and ageist remarks from Tory councillors in the past.

Parker told the newspaper: “It was a quip. I don’t think it was offensive.

“I certainly wasn’t trying to belittle the report but if anyone takes offence to that they haven’t seen programmes such as Mock the Week.”