A LIVERPOOL Councillor who shared and commented on a libellous and harassing video that led to its poster being convicted, has now himself placed under investigation.
Councillor Gerard Woodhouse, who has represented Liverpool County Ward since 2010, is a close friend of Mr William Montgomery Coughlin, well-known in Liverpool’s LGBT community under his drag queen stage name, ‘Kitty Litter’.
Late last year, Coughlin shared a disgusting and dangerous video on Facebook in which he accused an innocent man of “interfered with young lads”, and suggested he had HIV.
Adding insult to injury, the video was posted on World AIDS day, and was shared by his friend, Councillor Woodhouse, during his attendance at a charity function for Sahir House – an organisation that works to tackle stigmas surrounding HIV while providing support for sufferers.
53-year-old Coughlin, who owns the city-centre bar Kitty’s Show Bar, was charged and later convicted of sending malicious communications after making the comments – yet until now, now action had been taken against Councillor Woodhouse.
Following the victim registering a complaint with Liverpool’s Labour Party, it has now been confirmed that Woodhouse is under investigation, and that the matter is being probed by chief whip Ruth Bennett and the council’s solicitor Jeanette McLoughlin.
Speaking to VoteWatch, Paul, a spokesperson for the local LGBT support group ‘Rainbow Toffees’, said:
“As an organisation our primary role is to promote the eradication of homophobia in football and to support LGBTQ+ fans across our wider community.
“Sadly, there are still occasions when we encounter prejudiced behaviour and misconceptions which serve to perpetuate the stigmatisation of HIV & those of different sexualities.
“It is very disappointing when such behaviour is then given credit by being endorsed by someone in a public position of trust. Mr Woodhouse not only occupies a role of responsibility but he is also a member of the LGBTQ+ community, making his involvement all the more disappointing to so many who witnessed his conduct.
“Whilst he continues to maintain his innocence via ignorance, we do not accept this given his endorsement of the content via both his active sharing of the video and his personal comment suggesting clear acknowledgment of the content within.”
A disciplinary panel is set to be convened shortly to rule on the conduct of Cllr Woodhouse. VoteWatch will update in due course.