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UK Politics

Tory councillor expelled after rape remarks

A city councillor has been expelled from the Conservative Party after making offensive remarks about rape at a meeting.

Eddie Wake, 56, a Tory councillor at Sunderland City Council, is alleged to have made the remarks at a meeting of the authority and left one woman in tears.

Conservative party chiefs said comments by Washington South member Mr Wake, at the end of a meeting with police about a rape prevention campaign, were "totally unacceptable".

He appeared before senior Tory party officials last night when he was dismissed from Sunderland's Conservative group.

Mr Wake said he intended to stay on as a councillor and regretted his "lapse of judgment".

Group chairman of the Sunderland Conservative Group Robert Oliver said "Every single member of the Group felt very let down by Cllr Wake's remarks.

"His views are far removed from the views of individual members and the values of the Group as a whole.

"These remarks are unacceptable at any level of the Conservative Party.

"Whilst accepting that Cllr Wake had no racist intent, we could neither accept nor condone any of his alleged remarks."

Group leader Lee Martin told the BBC: "When I ask anyone to go out and vote for a Conservative candidate, I've got a minimum expectation, should that person be elected, of how they conduct themselves.

"Eddie Wake has come in well below that standard and as a result is no longer a Conservative councillor."

The council's standards committee is investigating Cllr Wake's remark.

Mr Wake said: "I intend to remain as a councillor pending the outcome of a standards committee investigation.

"I hope my constituents will judge me on the work I have done for them in the past and not on a single lapse of judgment.

"I made the remark when the meeting had closed, to a colleague.

"It was an old joke and not a very good one and I bitterly regret the offence it has caused.

"I am an effective councillor who asks awkward questions and I am not politically correct in any way but this time I have allowed that to cloud my judgment.

"I want to continue to work for the constituents of Washington South."