One of the youngest politicians to ever be elected claims he has been forced out of his job – by homophobic bullying.
Sam Phripp, 22, was elected to Mendip district council three years ago and won a second election to the county council in Somerset last year.
But the Lib Dem councillor claims he has had to stand down after “hostility, intimidation and bullying” – including one county colleague who called him a “dirty bloody homosexual”.
Writing on his blog, the young politician said: “During attendance at my first ever council meeting, my partner overheard me being referred to as ‘that dirty bloody homosexual’.
“I’ve been chased down the road by a Conservative candidate shouting at me because I’d been speaking to local people outside of a shop.
“I’ve been harassed on Twitter to the point of having to block and report people – something I always vowed I’d never do.
“I was told that I’d only won a seat on the county council because I lied (note, I didn’t, and haven’t lied…), I was also told that during recent elections activists from other parties had gone door to door telling people that I was gay – as if it would be a reason not to vote for me.
“I have to be clear however, that one of the main reasons I’m resigning is because it’s becoming almost impossible to do my job properly against the obstruction coming from other politicians.
“I’ve always been happy to work across party boundaries to get things done.
“As far as I’m concerned, as soon as the elections are over, we all work together for the good of our areas. I’ve been met with such resistance, and – at times – such hostility, intimidation and bullying that I simply can’t and won’t go on any further.”
A spokesman for Somerset County Council said it would not be releasing a statement or launching an investigation as no specific allegations had been made directly to the council.
It is understood Sam is still a councillor on Mendip District Council.