A COUNCILLOR has apologised after branding her colleague a "b***h" during a Zoom meeting where she thought she was on mute.

Leading Labour councillor Carmen Appich has stepped down from her top role on Brighton and Hove City Council after making the derogatory comment in front of 70 other people.

Those listening to the Brighton and Hove housing management panel were shocked to hear the former equalities committee chairwoman make the rude remark about fellow councillor Kate Knight. 

The Argus:

Councillor Kate Knight

The incident is now subject to a formal complaints procedure and Cllr Appich has promised that it "won't happen again". 

Councillor Knight, the previous deputy chairwoman of the council’s children, young people and skills committee resigned as a member of the Labour Party in July after being reported for alleged anti-Semitism.

She is now independent.

In a statement, Labour Group leader Nancy Platts said: "I was obviously shocked and disappointed to hear that this happened.

"It was unacceptable and below the standards I’d expect of any councillor.

"Councillor Appich has apologised in writing to all attendees of the meeting. She has also stepped aside from her role on the TECC committee.”

Cllr Appich apologised for the "horrible mistake" and has promised that it will not happen again.

The Argus:

Councillor Carmen Appich

She has sent an apology to all 70 people who were at the October 1 meeting. 

She said: “I am deeply sorry for my unprofessional and inappropriate language at the housing management panel meeting.

"I very much regret the offence I caused to Councillor Knight and to all of you on the call.

"I will not make any excuses; my behaviour was inexcusable. I called Councillor Knight and wrote to her last week to apologise directly, but I’m following up in writing to all who attended that meeting so you know I’m well aware of the seriousness of what I did. 

"This was a horrible mistake and I want to assure you this won’t happen again. 

"I deeply regret the anguish and upset I have caused Councillor Knight, and any of you.”