Lynne Featherstone ‘horrified’ over homophobic abuse at Lib Dem councillor

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone says she’s “horrified” by the resignation of a gay Liberal Democrat councillor, who alleges he received homophobic abuse from other council members and political opponents.

Sam Phripp, 22, announced on his blog that he’s stepping down from his role at Somerset Council due to homophobic bullying.

Mr Phripp claims on one occasion he was referred to as “that dirty bloody homosexual”.

He wrote: “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.”

The councillor added: “If ever we ask ourselves why more ‘normal’ people don’t want to stand for election, please take that as a 101 from me.”

Speaking to PinkNews on Thursday afternoon, International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone expressed her horror over Mr Phripp’s allegations.

“I was horrified to hear of the treatment of the local Lib Dem Councillor in Somerset,” Ms Featherstone, the Lib Dem MP for Hornsey and Wood Green told

“We’ve come such a long way in this country to achieve equal LGBT rights and I couldn’t be prouder that this government introduced equal marriage.

“However, hearing stories like this reminds me we have such a long way to go. Members of the LGBT community should not be bullied in this way.

“I am very sorry to hear of Sam’s resignation and I hope it will be the last story like this I hear – homophobic behaviour has no place in our society.”

Mr Phripp declined to comment to PinkNews.