AN alleged sexist remark made by a councillor caused a group of people to walk out of a meeting. However he has denied making part of the comment, insisting he did not mean to cause offence.

A group of members of the public and one councillor walked out of the Pershore Town Council planning meeting on Thursday night after Councillor David Annis made a comment during a heated debate over the proposed community hall. Both Jacqui Marler and Anna Owen who walked out claim they overheard Mr Annis say: “Have you noticed 90 per cent of the people here are women, little women.”

Miss Owen said: “I was disgusted that someone elected to represent people of this town could even consider that comment to be appropriate.”

Mrs Marler said she was “Very angry” about the comment.

However Cllr Annis denied that he said ‘little women’: “What I said wasn’t intended to be rude or intended to sound like I am against women, but just a casual observation to the councillor next to me; ‘have you noticed that 90 percent of the people here are women.’ Maybe it was the wrong thing to say, maybe I should have said ‘there aren’t many men here,’ but it was never intended as a slur or to be rude. It was a mistake. I publicly apologise.” Cllr Annis continued. “I did not say ‘little women’. I would not say that. It is not in my nature. I put my hand on a bible and say that I never said that.” Cllr Dan Boatright also left the meeting after the comment claiming: “When Cllr. Annis said that he couldn’t help but notice 90 per cent the audience were women, it sounded very much like he then said ‘little women’ afterwards. I am confident he said the whole thing in a very dismissive way and it was not an observation. I did think he said ‘little women’ but was so taken aback I thought I had misheard. When the people around me started saying ‘did you just say little women?’ to Cllr Annis it confirmed for me I had heard correctly.”