A LONG-SERVING former councillor has been publicly rebuked for posting a homophobic comment on social media.

Tom McAughtrie was a Scottish Labour councillor in Dumfries and Galloway for more than 30 years before being suspended by the party in 2016.

In a post written using his council-issued mobile phone, he called a local gay rights activist and an Anglican priest she was pictured with “deviants”.

Mr McAughtrie declined to attend a hearing of the Standards Commission for Scotland (SCS) in which he was censured for his “disrespectful behaviour and misuse of council facilities”.

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The panel said that had Mr McAughtrie still been a councillor, he would have been suspended. He failed to secure re-election in last year’s local polls.

Panel chair Tricia Stewart said: “Those in public life must take steps to ensure their behaviour does not open the door to intimidation and must uphold high ethical standards.

“The hearing panel considered the language used in the posting was wholly unacceptable and unjustified and understandably the complainer felt threatened by it.”