Lib Dem leader steps down after comment

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A PARTY leader has stepped down after suggesting an alleged sex attack victim was too ugly to be targeted.

Councillor Philip Drury, who held the shadow cabinet leader post at East Hampshire District Council, posted a comment on Facebook about alleged victim Serena Bowes.

The 21-year-old alleged she was sexually assaulted in an Italian nightclub.

On a Facebook thread about her case, Cllr Drury wrote: ‘Not sure anyone would want to even think about it looking at her lol.’

He has now stepped down from the Liberal Democrats, citing work pressures but remains a councillor, sitting as an independent for Whitehill.

A council investigation found no action should be taken against him because he was acting in a private capacity.

He was quoted as saying by Solent News Agency: ‘I was excessively tired and was working nights. I had just come back from an excessive Chinese business trip.’

Conservative leader Ferris Cowper said the comment was ‘offensive’ and was ‘deeply disappointed’ by the decision to allow him to stay. A spokesman added the authority was ‘appalled’ by the comment.