Words: Steve Brown
A Tory councillor who said LGBTQ people are ‘misguided by a powerful ideology’ has been stripped of her front-bench role.
Last week , it was reported Salisbury Pride UK applied for a grant of £1,000 from the Salisbury Area Board to help towards its £18,000 total cost to hold a Pride festival and parade next year.
However, Tory councillor Mary Douglas – who represents the Salisbury St Francis and Stratford constituency on Wiltshire Council – rejected the motion and said she ‘cannot support this’.
The councillor – who once said trans people are ‘deeply troubled’ and mentally ill – said: “I am not saying I do not accept or respect or love people who identify as LGBTQ+ because I do.
“I support completely their right to make choices, however I do not support those choices themselves, nor the ideology and world view they represent.
“These are wonderful people, well-meaning and sincere, but misguided by a powerful ideology.
“I do not want to be a part of promoting this, and I want to be clear this is not just my view, I represent a large number of people, some who are afraid to say something.”
Now the BBC report that Philip Whitehead, Wiltshire Council leader, said she ‘no longer holds the portfolio for social mobility and skills’.
Douglas was told she must step down from the role immediate effect but will still remain a Wiltshire Council councillor.
After hearing Douglas had lost her portfolio, Pride event organiser and fellow councillor Caroline Corbin said: "You can't represent people that way, so it's right the council has taken the action it has."