Residents slam ‘whitewash’ investigation into ‘gay marriage causes floods’ councillor

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Residents have condemned the decision not to take action against a former UKIP councillor who claimed that same-sex marriage caused flooding.

David Silvester was suspended and then expelled from UKIP in February, after writing a letter to a newspaper blaming the floods of December 2013 and early this year on David Cameron’s decision to legalise equal marriage.

However, he remains as an independent councillor in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, and an inquiry by the local council concluded last month that no action could be taken against him.

Speaking to the Henley Standard, two residents who filed complaints about the councillor with South Oxfordshire District Council attacked the lack of action.

40-year-old Sarah Butcher, of Henley, said: “Obviously I’m really disappointed.

“I was really hopeful that this independent investigation would see sense and have a positive outcome for the majority and I’m really disappointed that it hasn’t.

“I think it was just a whitewash essentially. When I shared the results with some of my friends they were incredulous.”

Vanessa Hoare said: “It implies that people can continue to say things of this nature whatever their position, despite the fact there’s legislation in place to promote equal opportunities.

“If you’re in that position you should hold up equal opportunities as a minimum.

“He knew what he was writing and he knew he was sending it to a paper. He knew he was a councillor and he knew the letter would be published.

“It’s all on the people of Henley now. If they vote him back in I think we have got a big problem.””