Tory councillor censured for gay ‘queens’ remark

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A Conservative councillor from Brentwood has been censured for using the word “queen” about gay people during a council debate last January.

During a discussion on plans to promote the rights of gay people and domestic violence victims, Keith Parker was accused of saying: “The scream team will be conversing with the the queen team.”

Mr Parker, the councillor for Brizes and Doddinghurst ward, accepted that he had used the word “queen” but did not consider it offensive.

He was cleared of using the phrase “scream team” when a council standards committee said a tape of the incident did not clearly show whether he said “scream” or “stream”.

The committee ruled that the use of the word “queen” meant he had brought his office into disrepute and failed to treat others with respect. He will receive a letter of censure from the council.

Speaking to the Brentwood Gazette, Mr Parker said he was pleased that the committee cleared him of using the word “scream”.

Of the remark about gays, he said: “It was a little quip and I was amazed to find that somebody was offended by it.

“It isn’t taboo as far as I am concerned.”