Bristol Lord Mayor candidate withdraws as all other parties now refuse to support his nomination.
The controversial Lord Mayor nominee today withdrew his nomination as it emerged that Labour, the only party who had supported his nomination withdrew this support. In a statement their Chief Whip stated ‘‘We had initially believed that Cllr Windows had genuinely learned after his offensive comments in the Council Chamber, but regrettably this does not seem to have been the case.”
In a statement to the press the councillor accused those who raised concerns about the homophobic nature of his comments, and if he should hold such a role in the city, of slander.
Pride Director Daryn Carter released this statement:
A Lord Mayor for the whole city
I was humbled to see that Councillor Chris Windows has listened to the people of Bristol and taken the decision to withdraw his nomination for Lord Mayor of Bristol. Many people share my concerns over the homophobic nature of his public comments and his continued insistence that homophobic bullying should not be addressed in schools.
It is disappointing that the councillor sees these concerns as slander and has yet again failed to take the opportunity to apologise for what he has said. I have never called him a homophobe or engaged in personal attacks, but his comments – on the record for all to hear – were homophobic.
The petition I launched was a last resort following months of the councillor and his party ignoring the matter and refusing to even discuss it with me. Over 2000 people have signed the petition online and by paper, uniting people both gay and straight, who believe in equality. The petition called for a full council debate on his nomination, allowing all our elected councillors a voice in choosing the figurehead for our city. While Councillor Windows has now withdrawn his nomination he has yet to recognise and address the offence that his remarks have made to so many people. Therefore I have written to him and the leader of the Bristol Conservative Party, once again inviting him to discuss the issue in the hope that he will understand why so many people feel so strongly. I also remain optimistic that the conservatives will nominate a new Lord Mayor from within their party, one who is capable of representing the whole city.