Thanet councillor Mike Harrison warned by police over homophobic comments
POLICE have issued a harassment warning to Thanet district councillor Mike Harrison over homophobic Facebook comments.
Mr Harrison, who represents Newington for Labour, described Independent councillor Ian Driver as a "shirt lifting gender bender" during a conversation on the social network.
Today (Friday) he was warned by police he could face arrest if he makes any more derogatory comments against Mr Driver.
Mr Driver said: "I am glad the police have acted, they have been very supportive and proactive. I hope Mike Harrison will follow the terms of the notice. I will be complaining to the standards committee and I understand the Labour group are conducting their own investigation."
A police spokesman said: "A 67-year-old man from Ramsgate was issued with an harassment warning in connection with the posting."
Mr Harrison said he could not comment because the conditions of the warning, issued under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, prevent him from contacting Mr Driver, even via a third-party.
Mr Harrison said "I probably did say them things and somebody deleted it, that is why I thought I was hacked , but as far as I am concerned I have not been found guilty of anything."
He denied his situation was comparable to that of Conservative Ken Gregory, another Thanet councillor, who was cautioned by police on Wednesday after leaving a message on the phone of Councillor John Worrow saying: "With a bit of luck you'll get Aids."
Both Mr Driver and Mr Worrow are members of the Thanet Independent Group which called on the council to vote in support of gay marriage, a motion supported by Mr Harrison.
Mr Harrison said : "When I was issued the notice this morning it was a bit surreal. The officer came in and sat down and read me the notice which I signed. It did not take five minutes, there no questioning and no investigation."
Mr Driver said: " In my opinion Mike Harrison should be treated in the same way as Ken Gregory and suspended from his group. If he has any honour he should stand down as a councillor. There is no place in this council for misogyny and homophobia and he is not wanted."
This is not the first Mr Harrison has attracted controversy through his online comments.
This week Mr Harrison was asked by the council's standards committee to apologise to the chairman for a blog post he made in February in which referred to a woman as a "frustrated dried up ****."