A Leeds MP has demanded an apology from a local councillor after a Twitter outburst in which he said he would welcome a lap dancing club on his doorstep.
Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves has branded Leeds City Council councillor Joe Marjoram’s comments about lap dancing proposals on the social networking site “outrageous”.
Councillor Marjoram, who represents Calverley and Farsley, had been responding to Leeds City Council’s recommendation to tighten legislation around the city’s lap dancing clubs.
The Conservative councillor tweeted that he would not object if someone planned to open up a lap dancing club in his ward but added “it would not make money outside the city centre”.
He then said in a Twitter outburst: “naked dancing girls for neighbours sounds great.”
But Councillor Marjoram told the YEP that he stood by his comments and that they were a joke.
He said: “It was intended as a joke and anyone who read that needs to go away and get a sense of humour.
“There’s nothing wrong with the lap dancing industry.
“It’s not linked to the sex trade or forced labour.
“If people object to it as an industry then don’t take it out on me.
“Making a complaint about a tweet will get nothing done and it shows how pedantic they are.
“If I have done something illegal, unlawful or offensive they can report me to the police if not they can get lost.”
The comments came after a new draft policy recommends that the council imposes a limit of four clubs – three fewer than are currently operating.
The news comes less than a year after a campaign by religious leaders and politicians calling on the council to introduce a cap apparently failed when all seven existing clubs were given new sexual entertainment venue (SEV) licences.
Ms Reeves, who led the campaign last year, said: “Frankly I’m pretty shocked that a Leeds councillor has made these outrageous comments.
“I’m sure that parents and families in Calverley and Farsley would not welcome a lap-dancing club and “naked dancing girls” for neighbours on their street. “They will be pretty appalled to find out that this is what their councillor wants.
“I call on Councillor Marjoram to withdraw his comments and apologise for them.”
She added: “I hope that Leeds City Council endorses a policy of having no clubs outside the city centre and a cap on the number in the city centre so we can end the proliferation of these venues in our city.”
A spokesman from the Conservative group office said the views were not representative of the group’s policies and they were intended to be a joke.