THE LONGEST serving MP for Brighton Kemptown since the Second World War has called on a councillor to be suspended from the Conservative Party after comparing striking bin workers to terrorists.

Sir Andrew Bowden, who served as a Conservative MP for 27 years from 1970 until 1997, called the comments made by councillor Joe Miller in a meeting yesterday “outrageous.”

Speaking with The Argus, he said: “As a member of the Conservative Party for 76 years and MP for Kemptown for 27 years, I am disgusted and angry at the statement made by Cllr Miller.

“Nobody who holds such views should be a member of the Conservative Party.

“I believe Cllr Miller should be suspended as a member of the party and should immediately write a personal letter to Mr Mark Turner of the GMB, apologising to him and all GMB members.

“I wish the strike had never taken place but the union acted within their democratic and legal rights.”

He added that his remarks are particularly inappropriate given the number of terrorist attacks going on across the world.

“People associate that word with the most ghastly murders and killings,” he said.

Sir Andrew said he will be contacting members of the Kemptown Conservative association.

In response to Sir Andrew’s condemnation, Cllr Miller has said he won’t be pushed into “apologising for something I didn’t say”.

He said: “I hugely respect Sir Andrew Bowden and his loyalty to the Conservative Party in the city. He is wrong, though - I did not call and nor do I think GMB members are terrorists.

“The point I was making was that they have the city over a barrel and that we should be using private companies, which I’m sure Sir Andrew Bowden would support, in cleaning up the city’s mess.

“You can’t give in to union demands like the Greens and Labour have at every turn, because once you do, we’ll have more demands.

He went on to make a comparison between the strikers and incidents of piracy off the Somali coast.

“Somali pirates take ships hostage for millions of dollars; pay was introduced at a very late stage of this strike and it’s being used as an opportunity to hold the city hostage, asking for a ransom of millions of pounds of pay increases in order to get binmen back to work.

“We can’t continue in Brighton and Hove to have the GMB running the city.”

The GMB has also called for Cllr Miller to make an apology in writing for his “shocking” comments, and have said they had to consider the safety of strikers on the picket amid fears of reprisals from the public who could take his remarks literally.

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