Thursday, 19 October 2017

Result of David Silvester investigation due

THE result of an investigation into comments made by a Henley town councillor that the legislation of gay marriage was to blame for flooding and storms is due to be made public this week.

David Silvester was widely condemned after his remarks, made in a letter published in the Henley Standard in January.

The 74-year-old councillor, then a member of UKIP, accused David Cameron of acting “arrogantly against the Gospel” and causing the nation to be “beset by serious storms and floods” by passing the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act.

South Oxfordshire District Council launched the investigation following 12 complaints made to Henley Town Council about the comments.

The district council said this week that a decision notice had been finalised and copies sent to Cllr Silvester, the complainants and town clerk Mike Kennedy.

Cllr Silvester’s comments resulted in a protest outside the town hall and an online petition with more than 25,000 signatures calling for his resignation.

Cllr Silvester, who is married with children and a member of Henley Baptist Church, was suspended from UKIP to whom he had defected from the Conservatives over the same issue in 2013, and was later expelled from the party.

He initially refused to say sorry but at an extraordinary town council meeting in February he apologised for upsetting the gay community, although he still refused to resign.

The town council has no powers to take any disciplinary action.

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