Tory councillor may be barred over ‘queen’ remark

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A Conservative councillor who made a comment about gay rights and domestic violence could be barred from Brentwood council.

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

He was referring to plans to promote the rights of gay people and domestic violence victims.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Karen Chilvers reported him to the council’s standards committee and said he was “ridiculing” people.

An independent adjudicator has now concluded that the remark was offensive.

But Mr Parker argues that what he actually said was “stream team”, the Brentwood Gazette reports.

In a letter to Alex Hallam, deputy council solicitor at Essex County Council, he wrote:

“My quip was referring to the council’s theme team (stream team) interviewing the queen team, the accent being on the officers’ team, not any other party.

“I think it stands to reason that was the content of my quip. I think it is totally wrong that you should decide that I am guilty due to an assumption that as all the ingredients were present, I must be guilty.”

He added: “If I’d said it I would have put my hands up – I wouldn’t be putting myself through all this.”

A meeting of the council’s standards committee will decide his future at a later date. He could be barred from the council.