The man responsible for parking in Brighton and Hove has been caught leaving his car in a disabled bay.

A photo obtained by The Argus shows Councillor Geoffrey Theobald’s Jaguar parked in a space designated for the disabled at Brighton and Hove City Council’s head office.

Coun Theobald, cabinet member for transport, has led a series of campaigns against the abuse of disabled parking badges and said earlier this year it was important to “make sure disabled parking is available for those who really need it”.

He said he left his car at the private King’s House car park in Grand Avenue, Hove, to attend a meeting of senior councillors and top officers.

He added the spaces were not open to the public and he had asked a member of staff who monitors the car park to contact him if the space was needed by a disabled driver.

Coun Theobald said: “This is being mischievous.

“You are in a hurry, rushing from place to place, it is a small car park and there are no parking spaces for councillors.

“The vast majority of councils have parking spaces marked for councillors.

“It certainly would give the wrong impression if I was parking outside Sainsbury’s or Tesco, right in front of the store, in a disabled bay.

“Every single space in the car park is a very short distance from the door and there is a guy who keeps a constant watch on it and if I needed to move the car I would have come straight down. I could have been 30 minutes late trying to find a space. What more am I expected to do?”

But Councillor Paul Elgood, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the council, criticised Coun Theobald’s decision.

He said: “Councillors should always be seeking to set an example for residents and members of staff, especially when it comes to issues affecting disability and parking.

“Councillors must be aware they are always on duty across the city. They should always obey the letter of the law. I certainly have not, and would not, park in a disabled bay.”

Was councillor Theobald justified in parking in a bay for disabled drivers? Comment below.