A COUNCILLOR’S joke on gender identification made at a full council meeting has been described as showing a “lack of thought and compassion”.

Broughton and Stockbridge Councillor Daniel Busk, pictured, participated in debate regarding a motion to hold a women’s suffrage event in the borough at the meeting at Friday, 23 March.

At the meeting, Cllr Busk said: “Apparently we are now what gender we wish to identify [as], this I have found rather strange as I have not found my feminine side, I therefore wonder if this motion is certainly relevant!”

As he spoke, he was reminded by a fellow member, “remember you are in public”.

Since the meeting, the leader of the Liberal Democrats at TVBC Celia Dowden has called the comment “insensitive”.

She said: “Councillor Busk made a throw-away insensitive comment with the aim to generate humour.

“It shows a lack of thought and compassion for the growing number of children and young people who have suffered in silence and confusion.”

“A programme on ITV shown the night before the full council revealed there has been a 42 per cent increase of children being referred to gender identity clinics.

“The debate which it has generated has allowed them to have a voice and to find a way through the change in their young lives.”

“Cllr Busk needs to remember we all represent a diversity of people.”

In response, Cllr Busk said: “You can choose your own gender, personally I think it is somewhat illogical. If you look downwards you can usually see what gender you are. If you want to identify as another gender that’s fine, it’s a free country.”

“I represent everyone absolutely the same regardless if boy or girl. I do think it is illogical but I represent everyone whether they voted for me or not, male or female.”

“I’m a farmer, it is a gender blind industry.

“A mountain has been made out of a molehill, I did get a smile at the meeting.”

Cllr Busk voted in favour of the motion.