Councillor stung by sexism allegation
19th July 2019
A TUNBRIDGE WELLS county councillor has been accused of sexism after remarks he made about bees.
County and borough councillor Sean Holden [Cranbrook], was discussing his ‘Plan Bee’, a project he has spearheaded for more than six years, which aims to improve the number of bees and pollinating insects in Kent.
During last week’s Full Council at county hall in which the plan was discussed, Cllr Holden referred to bees as the ‘pin up girls’ of pollinating insects.
Labour councillor Karen Constantine took exception to his words, and told the chamber: “I would like to challenge Cllr Holden on his point of everyday sexism which, I’m afraid, I’m disgusted to hear in this chamber.”
She added that ‘pin up girls’ was a sexist stereotype and was ‘disappointed’ to see Cllr Holden resort to such ‘sexist comparisons’.
The Thanet councillor also called on KCC to implement ‘mandatory equalities training’ for elected officials.
After the hearing, Cllr Holden called her complaint ‘manufactured left wing indignation’.
He said: “Calling bees the pin-up girls for the pollinator plan, the pollinator bees being all female, was a light metaphor of marketing practices.
“Ms Constantine’s pompous intervention was entirely against the spirit of the debate about this crucial environmental policy, which I began on my own six years ago and have seen through the adoption as official county policy.”