A FORMER Labour councillor has been reprimanded by the standards watchdog and told if he was still in office he would have been suspended.

The councillor, who had 37 years service, was investigated for posting discriminatory remarks on facebook.

The Standards Commission for Scotland found the derogatory comments made using a council mobile phone breached the code of conduct.

Tom McAughtrie, a former councillor in Dumfries, had posted a discriminatory remark on the Facebook page of the Chairperson of a Dumfries and Galloway LGBT+ Group.

He posted a comment directed at both the Chairperson and an Anglican priest at Greyfriars Church, who appeared together in a photo.

 In a comment posted using his council-issued mobile phone, Mr McAughtrie wrote: “Thankfully you two deviants were dealt the blow you deserve by the decent people of Dumfries.”

The Standards Commission for Scotland panel decided to give him the severe formal reprimand of a censure.

It decided not to disqualify him from standing again given his long service but said he would have been suspended had he still been a councillor.

Mrs Tricia Stewart, Chair of the Hearing Panel, 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 understandable the complainer felt threatened by it.”

Mr McAughtrie did not attend the hearing.