Tory councillor suspended over ‘I don’t want Pride sex flags’ post
An 81-year-old Tory councillor has been suspended after she said she does not want “Pride sex flags along my high street”.
Angela Kilmartin, a councillor on Braintree District Council in Essex, wrote on Facebook that she did not want any “sex flags” on the high street in Witham.
She said: “I don’t want Pride sex flags along my high street. I don’t even want heterosexual flags along my high street.
“Sex is for the bedroom and private life, not for displaying preferences in public.”
It is understood that she was told on Saturday that she has been suspended from the local Conservative group for 21 days, pending further investigation.
Witham town council, where Mrs Kilmartin is also a member, appointed an LGBTQ+ ambassador in June 2020 and a rainbow flag is flown from the town hall during Pride month in June.
Chelsea Jay, the first ambassador, pledged to “break down the ‘in-the-dark-ages’ culture of local politics and to move forward in terms of aligning with the national scope which is seeing the new face of British politics being one of diversity”.
'We do not tolerate discrimination'
Following Mrs Kilmartin’s social media post, Michael Lager, the town council Conservative leader, told the BBC: “We dissociate ourselves totally from the reported remarks from this particular member.
“We do not tolerate discrimination between people of different faiths, beliefs and all the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010, that we respect and promote.”
Mrs Kilmartin said she already planned to step down as councillor ahead of local elections on May 4 after 16 years serving as a councillor.
She told The Telegraph that she has been contacted by supporters who have said they are “sick of this insistence of flaunting sexuality in ordinary public life”.
A council spokesman said the local authority was “aware of the messages” and looking into “a number of separate code of conduct issues”.