'Foul mouth' councillor Linda Vijeh apologises in mic gaffe

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Image source, Devon And Somerset Fire And Rescue Service
Image caption,
Linda Vijeh said she is well-known for having "a mouth like a sewer"

A councillor who swore during a live-streamed meeting - shocking some of her colleagues - has apologised.

Conservative Linda Vijeh, who said she is well-known for having "a mouth like a sewer", turned the air blue during the debate last Thursday.

She said it soon became apparent by the "shocked" faces of some councillors that her microphone was not muted.

Ms Vijeh said she was on holiday at the time and "forced to attend whilst in the company of others".

South Somerset district councillors had gathered to discuss the future of local government in Somerset.

'Foul mouth'

Ms Vijeh has issued a full written apology, and told the Local Democracy Reporting Service her comments were not directed at either the council or the public watching the meeting.

She said the increased use of technology to communicate meant "we all need to be more cautious about our behaviour".

"Every now and again I express my views in ways that I appreciate may cause offence to others, for which I absolutely apologise," she said.

Image source, South Somerset District Council/YouTube
Image caption,
Several councillors were left visibly shocked during the meeting which was being streamed live on the council's YouTube channel

Ms Vijeh said she was on holiday at the time and had been "exasperated" by "continual interruption" from her companions.

"Observant members noticed that at times during the meeting I was seen to be speaking to a third party," she said.

"This is quite true, as I was being pestered with questions whilst trying to pay attention to the proceedings."

She said she had sworn while responding to those off-screen "in frustration" but insisted she was "fully engaged" throughout the meeting.

"Yes, I have a foul mouth, but I pay my taxes on time, have never abused anyone, threatened physical violence or been accused of dodgy business deals.

"Those who are eager to throw stones need to take heed of the proverb relating to glass houses."

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