Following a recent campaign led by the local LGBT community, Conservative Councillor Chris Windows has decided to withdraw his nomination to be the next Lord Mayor of Bristol.
As earlier reported, the organisers behind Pride Bristol – We:Are – criticised Councillor Windows prospective appointment to the high profile community position following comments he made in 2010 where he was “unhappy and a little disturbed of the involvement of Stonewall with our local schools” – a reference made to instance’s where Sir Ian McKellen visited schools in connection with a Stonewall campaign.
As part of the campaign a petition was launched, both on-line and around the local LGBT community, which managed to attract over 2000 signatures.
In a statement issued by Councillor Windows, which was published in the Bristol Post, he stated “I was greatly honoured to be chosen by my Group to be their nomination for Lord Mayor in the next Civic Year. However, sadly, for a number of reasons, it has become clear to me that I must now withdraw my name from further consideration for this important civic post. Over the last few months, my wife and I have been deeply concerned about the campaign – orchestrated by a very vocal minority – to portray me as some kind of controversial figure for the ceremonial and symbolic position of Bristol’s first citizen.”
“The unpleasant and slanderous attack upon my character and the pressure this has placed upon my wife is not something I am prepared to continue to expect her to endure.” he concluded.
In response, Pride Bristol published on their Facebook time-line ” Over 2000 signed our petition and we are proud he has listened to the people of Bristol and made the right decision for a city that prides its diversity and equality and for the credibility of the office of Lord Mayor. Thank you all for your support and helping make sure the voice of the community was heard. This has shown us all not to be complacent and that Pride has never been more needed.”
The Councillor’s decision means the Tory group of councillors will now have to come up with a new nomination before the council’s annual meeting in June