Sunday, 20 August 2017

I’m sorry but won’t quit, says councillor

HENLEY town councillor David Silvester has apologised for upsetting the gay community after blaming the floods on the same-sex marriage laws.

But he refused to resign at an extraordinary meeting of the town council on Tuesday called to discuss his comments.

About 40 people attended the meeting at the town hall and more than a dozen members of the public spoke, including his wife Irene. There was a small protest outside.

Councillor Silvester, 73, who was expelled by UKIP previous day, said he had not intended to embarrass the council or his party when he made his comments in a letter to the Henley Standard last month. “Neither was it my intention to insult the gay community and I certainly apologise to them if personal insult has been their perception,” he said. “Indeed, a number of them have been my friends or acquaintances over the years.”

Cllr Silvester, who resigned from the Conservatives over the same issue a year ago, insisted that his letter was directed at the Government for trying to “change the nature and definition of marriage from that recorded in the national textbook, the Holy Bible”.

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