Tory councillor apologises after using the phrase ‘n*gger in the wood pile’ on live radio

February 28, 2014 | by | 0 Comments

A Conservative councillor has volunteered for diversity training at the age of 78 after using the phrase “n*gger in the woodpile” on live radio.

Peter Edwards used the term during a discussion about the closure of an equine charity visitor centre on BBC Radio Bristol.

Presenter Geoff Twentyman was stunned by the comment and apologised to listeners moments later.

Cllr Edwards has since offered his “sincere apologies” for the gaffe and agreed to undergo diversity training to ensure it does not happen again.

In a statement he said: “I offer my sincere apologies to anyone who was offended by the words I used.

“It was not my intention to cause anybody any offence, but it was clearly a foolish and thoughtless phrase to have used and so I apologise unreservedly.

“I have in addition decided to voluntarily request some diversity training for myself to ensure this never happens again.”

The outburst came during a discussion about an application to build houses on the site of a visitor centre for the Horseworld charity on the outskirts of Bristol.

Cllr Edwards said: “The other big n*gger in the woodpile is that we’re awaiting a decision from the Secretary of State on an appeal lodged by an opportunist construction company for the building of 200 houses on the other side of Whitchurch Lane, opposite HorseWorld.”

After a few more sentences, Mr Twentyman said: “I must at this point apologise to anyone who was in any shape or form upset with the expression you used there, which also took me a bit by surprise.”

A listener has since written to the BBC and local MP Chris Skidmore calling for Cllr Edwards to resign from his seat representing Whitchurch and Publow on Bath and North East Somerset Council.

But he will not be resigning and Conservative group leader Tim Warren said Cllr Edwards had taken the “right course of action”.

He added: “We obviously take very seriously anything which could cause such serious offence.”

A BBC spokesperson said: “During a live interview on BBC Radio Bristol on Wednesday evening, a guest used a phrase which some listeners may have found offensive.

“We apologise for any offence caused during that live conversation. The presenter, Geoff Twentyman, immediately apologised to listeners and he repeated this apology at the end of the show.”

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