Sir Henry Bellingham calls for “sensible perspective” and says former Breckland councillor Charles Carter comments in “different league” to Donald Trump

Charles Carter at the Boxing Day hunt at Raynham Hall. He has been suspended following an incident w

Charles Carter at the Boxing Day hunt at Raynham Hall. He has been suspended following an incident while hunting with the Middleton Hunt. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A Norfolk MP has claimed a former Breckland councillor and hunt master's comments to a female protestor were in a 'different league' to Donald Trump and needed 'sensible perspective'.

Sir Henry Bellingham claimed that while Charles Carter's comments were 'completely inappropriate and out of order for someone of his standing', they had been made in a 'purely private context'.

Mr Carter, who was master of the West Norfolk Fox Hounds until last May, was filmed when he was approached by 41-year-old mum-of-four Linda Hoggard to challenge him over his activities.

As he took out his own phone to video her, he asked her name and then told her: 'I'd quite like to **** you, actually', before adding: 'Can I take you to bed, please?'

Smiling, he then added: 'You're very pretty,' before finally asking: 'Can I have your number, please?'


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In a letter to the Eastern Daily Press, Sir Henry, the MP for North-West Norfolk, praised the former Saham Toney councillor's 'many different achievements', claiming it would be 'very sad' if they were undermined by his '10 second aberration'.

He said: 'My starting point is that the remarks he made during what he thought was a private conversation were completely inappropriate and out of order for someone of his standing.

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'However, I do believe that we need to keep this in some sort of perspective. Indeed, if you compare his remarks to some of the completely vile ones about women made by Donald Trump, and some of the anti-Semitic remarks made by Labour MPs, then Charles Carter's remarks are in a different league.'

He went on to say that there appeared to be 'growing tendency these days to give someone a good kicking when they are down, and completely fail to acknowledge their success and achievements over many years'.

He claimed Mr Carter was very 'conscientious, incisive and professional' as a councillor, and he had provided a 'great deal of leadership and effort' in his job as Joint Master and Amateur Huntsman of the West Norfolk Hunt.

Tory councillor Charles Carter resigned from Breckland Council last Wednesday.

A notice of vacancy for the Saham Toney ward is on the council website at www.breckland.gov.uk/article/3430/Elections-2016-2017

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