I cannot believe I just wrote that headline.
Philip Drury was the leader of the Liberal Democrats on the East Hampshire Council, a local government unit in England. He just stepped down from that role, though he remains an independent councilor, after an incredibly insensitive comment about an alleged rape.
The background for this story: Serena Bowes is a 21 year old fashion student who claims to have been sexually assaulted while at a club in Italy. Police dispute her claims and are in the process of extraditing her back to Italy for making false allegations.
While discussing the case on Facebook, Drury broke out this gem of a comment:
Not sure anyone would even want to think about it looking at her lol
No, I’m not making that up. Drury resigned from his post as a party leader (though he cited work pressures as the reason). His colleagues on the East Hampshire Council were appropriately disgusted, with a spokesperson saying, “The council was appalled by his comments.” They launched an investigation; however, no further legal action could be taken to remove Drury from his role as a Councilor, since he did not make these comments in his capacity as a Councilor, but as a private citizens. Said the spokesperson:
“Although EHDC has now exhausted its legal options, the Council remains disappointed both with the actions of the Councillor and also the effectiveness of the regulatory regime.”
As for Drury, he blamed the comments on exhaustion:
“I was excessively tired and was working nights. I had just come back from an excessive Chinese business trip – I was tired. I will remain on the council.”
Being tired means you make disgusting rape jokes? Alrighty then.
There’s no possible lesson here that hasn’t already been taught by common sense. Never, ever, EVER discuss a rape victim in this capacity.