A COUNCILLOR has been suspended after suggesting that Prince Philip had groomed Queen Elizabeth following their first meeting when she was thirteen-years-old.
Cllr Bill Keery made the remark during virtual meeting where Councillors gave tributes to the late Duke of Edinburgh, saying: “most of what I wanted to say has been said, so I won’t repeat it”, before going on to say something significantly out of keeping with other tributes.
“I first met Her Majesty when she was a 13 years old. I don’t know how people would view that nowadays – that would be talked about as being groomed.”
“But he eventually ended up marrying Princess Elizabeth in 1947” he added after chuckling.
In an email to councillors the following day, the councillor said his comment had been “ill-judged and did not convey what I wished to highlight, which was the bond between HM the Queen and Prince Philip that has endured over so many decades”.
“Whilst I offer an explanation for what I was attempting to convey, there is no excuse for the phrase that was used and I both retract it and offer an unreserved apology” he added.
In a statement, the DUP said: “Cllr Keery has retracted and apologised for the ill-judged comments made at the meeting of Ards & North Down Council. The party officers have suspended Cllr Keery from membership of the party pending further investigation”