Wiltshire

Councillor Mary Douglas loses role over LGBT comment

Councillor Mary Douglas, member for Salisbury St Francis and Stratford
Image caption Mary Douglas said she stood by her comments

A councillor has been stripped of her front-bench role just days after claiming the LGBT community was "misguided by a powerful ideology".

Wiltshire councillor Mary Douglas, from Salisbury, had refused to back a £1,000 grant for next year's Salisbury Pride.

Philip Whitehead, Wiltshire Council Leader, said Mrs Douglas "no longer holds the portfolio for social mobility and skills".

She did not want to comment but told the BBC she stood by what she said.

Pride event organiser Caroline Corbin said Conservative councillor's "opinion was misguided."

Ms Corbin, who is also a councillor on Salisbury City Council, said on Twitter there is "no place for homophobia in Salisbury and no excuse to air personal views on a public platform".

After hearing Mrs Douglas had lost her portfolio, Ms Corbin said: "You can't represent people that way, so it's right the council has taken the action it has."

Mr Whitehead said Mrs Douglas, who represents the Salisbury St Francis and Stratford division, had been told to step down from the role with immediate effect but remains a Wiltshire Council councillor.

Mrs Douglas made the comments at the Salisbury Area Board on Monday where community groups ask for funding from Wiltshire Council.

"I do not support their choices, nor the ideology and world view they represent," she told the meeting.

"These are wonderful people, well meaning and sincere, but misguided by a powerful ideology.

"I don't want to be a part of promoting this, and I represent a large number of people, some of whom are afraid to say something."

Wiltshire Council said it could not say if there had been any further complaints about the comments.

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