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Surrey County Council chairman quits over 'outdated remarks'

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image copyrightSurrey County Council
image captionPeter Martin also sits on Waverley Borough Council

A Conservative county council chairman has resigned over showing a lack of "cultural awareness" and "good judgement" during a recent interview.

Peter Martin, stepped down from his position at Surrey County Council after making the comments.

He said: "My judgment has understandably been called into question. I have apologised privately to the candidate."

The council refused to confirm if it was investigating a formal complaint.

A spokesman said; "The appropriate complaints procedure is being followed in line with the council's constitution. We don't have any more to say at this time."

'Outdated remarks'

Mr Martin said: ""For those of us in public life, the way that we conduct ourselves should be without question. In a recent interview with a candidate I showed a lapse of good judgment.

"I fully accept that the language I used lacked empathy and cultural awareness, and that my judgment has understandably been called into question.

"I have apologised privately to the candidate and hope sincerely that my apology will be accepted for what it is - a genuine expression of regret for my thoughtless and outdated remarks."

Exactly what was said, or the nature of the interview, is not yet clear.

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A new chairman will be elected at a council meeting on 9 October.

The council's leader, David Hodge, said he thanked Mr Martin "for recognising the importance of maintaining the values and high standards that go with public office".

It is understood Mr Martin will continue as a county councillor. He also sits on Waverley Borough Council.

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  • Surrey County Council