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Lib Dem Councillor gets in hot water over F-word (no, not that one)

The Lib Dem Councillor says his words were misinterpreted Photo: Peter Lord/Twitter

A Liberal Democrat councillor has defended a tweet in which he said "fortunately many of my followers appear to be fit young women" in a conversation about canvassing.

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Peter Lord, who represents Trumpington for the Liberal Democrats on Cambridge City Council made the comments in an online conversation.

In an interview he denied any offensive connotations were a reasonable interpretation of his comments.

Encouraging another person to run for the council he said on Twitter:

"Between us, we have potentially 6000+ Twitter followers who I'm sure would be pleased too turn-out, knock doors and promote your campaign.

Naturally, you would also have to do a lot of legwork, meeting constituents on their doorsteps, finding out what their concerns are… "…I don't know about you, but fortunately many of my followers appear to be fit young women who just need a little financial assistance to get to Cambridge, but would doubtless be happy to go canvassing for you when they arrive…"

– Cllr Peter Lord

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He said he meant only that many of his followers appeared to be "healthy" and "young women".

He said: "They are young and their photos appear to be able bodied. And I do say appear to be of course because nothing on Twitter is what it seems.

"The interpretation that I personally intend by it is their profiles show them as being young and healthy women, which in fact they probably are not. They are much more likely to be perhaps someone operating out of French Algeria."

Questioned on the relevance of that he said: "Their photos show usually young and healthy women. And in the context of going around knocking on doors and distributing leaflets and whatever in all fairness it is not something that older people find terribly easy to do".

When asked if he understood the possible interpretation of "fit young women" and the appropriateness of the comment he said "that is how you are choosing to interpret it".

He said: "I will say it repeatedly: fit means healthy".

He said: "I would have to have been living in a cardboard box for the last 40 years not to have heard people use that kind of offensive language to women and about women."

Explaining his word choice he said:

"I have a very broad use of English language. I like to use English language, in what shall we call it - a florid way. I don't like using English in a dull flat manner, I like to play with English, and I suppose that also has different ways you could interpret.

"I guess if you mention it then perhaps people who choose to read it the way you are saying they might choose to read it might take offence."

– Cllr Peter Lord