Conservatives ‘disown’ comments by former candidate attacking ‘mincing puffs’ at pride

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Tory councillors in Ashton-under-Lyne have laid into the party’s former deputy chair, after he ranted about “puffs mincing around” at Pride parades.

The row emerged when community charity Tameside 4 Good revealed it had granted £1k in funding to Tameside & Oldham Gay Society, for the organisation of the town’s Pride march.

Liam Billington – who stood for the Conservatives at the local elections earlier this year – ranted at the charity: “And you thought a bunch of puffs mincing across Ashton would achieve that?”

Councillor John Bell, who leads the Tory group on Tameside Council, laid into the comments.

He told the Manchester Evening News: “Liam speaks for himself. He regularly makes offensive comments about people and he must suffer the consequences himself.

“It’s the sort of behaviour I don’t put up with, his comments are offensive and my group disown them completely.”

The newspaper reports that Mr Billington was deputy chair of the Ashton-under-Lyne party “until recently” – though the role was still listed on his Twitter profile at the times he made the comments.

Mr Billington did not respond to a request for comment from PinkNews – but told the newspaper: “My specific objection is that Tameside 4 Good get a huge chunk of their funding through Tameside Council and collect money from charities across Tameside.

“When people donate money they expect it to go to good use, such as foodbanks or care for the elderly – the people who need it most.

“I’m gay myself and I used the word [puff] all the time.

“I don’t think many people will find it offensive, young people would use that word and not bat an eyelid.”