Councillor denies being racist after using offensive phrase during a meeting

Coun Bill Jeffrey
Coun Bill Jeffrey

A TOWN councillor has denied he is a racist after he used an offensive phrase during a meeting.

Despite the words used by Councillor Bill Jeffrey, who sits on Peterlee Town Council, a Durham County Council investigation has found that he was not in breach of his town council’s code of conduct.

The Labour councillor uttered the offensive phrase during planning discussions for a new Tesco and following the standards committee investigation the 72-year-old has now apologised for his words.

The councillor said he knows what he said was “wrong” but insisted he had lost his cool in a fraught discussion.

Coun Jeffrey said: “If I offended any of my colleagues then I apologise.

“I am not a racist, I have never been a racist.

“It was not about people or anything like that, it was about a planning application.

“I work with people of all colours. It came out, I don’t know why it came out but it came out.”

A fellow councillor had complained which led to the investigation which concluded he had not behaved in a racist manner as the words were not directed at a person.