THE LABOUR group in Brighton and Hove is calling for the resignation of a councillor that compared striking workers to terrorists.

In a letter to Councillor Steve Bell, the leader of the Conservative group on Brighton and Hove City Council, Labour said councillor Joe Miller should have made an immediate and unreserved apology after saying "we can't negotiate with terrorists," when discussing the ongoing bin dispute between the GMB union and the council.

The letter is signed by the party's co-leaders John Allcock and Carmen Appich, along with councillors Nancy Platts, Gary Wilkinson and Dan Yates.

It read: "In an age when all too often, ill-thought-out comments lead to violence against others, elected officials need to be extra careful with their language."

The letter also claimed that the GMB is now stating they will not return to the negotiating table until an apology is received.

It continued: "To speak out about those key workers, of whom the council act as employers, in such inflammatory terms is unacceptable. It also undermines efforts to resolve the current bin strike that residents are suffering through.

"If he really wanted to act in the best interests of our residents and businesses, he would have thought about his impact on everyone else instead of continuing to promote his own unacceptable views."

The letter comes just hours after Sir Andrew Bowden, who served as a Conservative MP for Kemptown for 27 years, called for Cllr Miller to be suspended from the Conservative Party over his "outrageous" remarks.

He said: "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."

Speaking to The Argus, Cllr Miller continued to defy calls to make a written apology to GMB branch leader Mark Turner.

He said: "They are acting entirely unreasonably with their pay request - it’s going to cost millions of pounds resulting from an equal pay dispute, that will lead to austerity across the council, which will result in services such as those for children and those with special educational needs being cut.

"So they are acting like, not are, terrorists or pirates holding the city hostage for a significant pay ransom.

"I am not going to be bullied into apologising for something I didn’t say.

"I didn’t call them terrorists - the GMB categorically are not terrorists.

"You have to take a strong stance against this kind of behaviour and I am standing up for Conservative principles. You can’t give in to unions on their first demand."

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