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Councillor gets elf warning over sexist ‘joke’ in grotto

Suspended: Broughan

A COUNCILLOR who made sexist comments about a woman dressed as an elf has been suspended by his party.

Richard Broughan, 34, allegedly said: ‘I wouldn’t mind her sitting on my knee,’ after seeing the woman in a Christmas grotto.

He had been drinking brandy in an alcohol-free zone during the family event in Stoke-on-Trent, it was claimed.

Mr Broughan was investigated after complaints about his conduct in November 2015. He denied the claims and said the smell of alcohol was his aftershave or a brandy-flavoured e-cigarette, but he was found to be in breach of the council’s code of conduct and was suspended from his City Independent group for a year.

In a complaint to the council, Staffordshire Police Sgt Wayne Flowers said the former Ukip councillor had ‘acted in a strange manner’ and made ‘inappropriate jokes’ during the evening. People had complained to a PCSO about him swearing.

He said: ‘The PCSO heard councillor Broughan make an inappropriate sexual comment about a female who was dressed as an elf and helping out in Santa’s grotto.’

The PCSO also reported that Mr Broughan said he ‘had a dirty mind’.

Questioned as to whether he should be drinking while undertaking council duties he is said to have replied: ‘I’m always at work and I’m always drinking.’

Mr Broughan, who resigned from Ukip after making an offensive joke, can continue to serve on the council but will have to undertake additional training.