Cheltenham rape gaffe councillor will not stand for re-election

Barbara Driver Barbara Driver made the remark at a Cheltenham Borough Council meeting on Wednesday evening

Related Stories

A Conservative councillor who equated the "inevitability" of the building of new houses with rape has announced she will not stand for re-election.

At a Cheltenham Borough Council meeting Barbara Driver said: "When rape is inevitable, lie back and enjoy it".

The former mayor made the comment at a debate on Wednesday over plans to build 30,000 homes in Gloucestershire.

Ms Driver apologised and said she would not now seek nomination as a candidate for the local elections in May.

'Difficult' decision

She said she was sorry for the damage the "thoughtless and inappropriate comment" had caused, and that she believed "the right thing to do at this stage is to step back from public life".

Cheltenham Conservative Party leader Rob Garnham said he understood how "difficult" the decision had been for her.

"She has devoted herself tirelessly to the council, and to the vulnerable and disadvantaged people of this town, and for that she deserves all our thanks and recognition," he added.

A Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (GRASAC) spokeswoman criticised Ms Driver's remarks.

"When people in positions of power make throw-away and flippant comments like this it perpetuates the myths around rape," she said.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Gloucestershire

Weather

Gloucester

10 °C 1 °C

Features

  • FridgeCool customer

    The village that has just got its first fridge


  • Lincoln Perkins (in the middle of the image) carried Churchill's coffin with seven other menNear miss

    How pallbearers almost dropped Churchill's coffin


  • Josef Mengele in SS uniformThe twins of Auschwitz

    How a Nazi doctor experimented on identical siblings


  • Alok'Red market'

    The desperate patients in India turning to illegal blood donors


  • Bank House, 27 King Street, LeedsIn pictures

    Some of the office buildings new to the National Heritage List


Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.