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Welsh councillor refuses to apologise after saying he wouldn't vote for someone who is gay

Geraint Thomas made the comments before he was elected on Merthyr Tydfil Council

2018-08-23

A Welsh councillor has refused to apologise for saying he wouldn’t vote for a woman, gay person or someone who is English.

Geraint Thomas, who represents the Independent party on Merthyr Tydfil Council, made the comments on Facebook on the day of the last National Assembly election back in May 2016.

Although he wasn’t elected at the time, he wrote: “Just call me old-fashioned, but I won’t vote for anyone who doesn’t live in our constituency, or English, a woman or gay! Does that leave me with anyone to vote for lol.”

He then posted another message saying: “Is the Plaid man English or gay then? Don’t say that now, lol.”

Now, Andrew Morgan, the Labour leader of the neighbouring council, has urged Cllr Thomas to at least make an apology for his comments.

He told the WalesOnline: “I’m in the [WalesOnline] Pinc List this year, so someone from Merthyr has just sent me this.

“Not really appropriate for a cabinet member and at least a public apology should be given.

“It may have been posted in jest, but it’s not really the sort of thing that someone who wants to represent a community should do, plus even as a joke it allows others to think this view is the norm.”

Cllr Thomas has defended his comments and said it was “just a bit of banter” and said that he wouldn’t vote for openly gay MP Gerald Jones not because of his sexuality but because he is Labour.

He said: “I don’t see any reason to apologise. It was just a bit of banter. I hadn’t got any thoughts of doing anything political at the time – it wasn’t until a year later that I stood for the council and got elected.

“I’d be happy to vote for a woman or someone who’s gay if I thought they were the best candidate.

“I wouldn’t vote for him [Jones], not because he’s gay but because he’s Labour. No, I wouldn’t say it now that I’m in public office.”