Henri Huygen, formerly a councillor in the commune of Ans near Liege, has been expelled from the party after allegations he made homophobic remarks in relation to a council colleague. The allegations arose earlier in the week, after Huygen, councillor in charge of environment and equal opportunities, was accused of making homophobic remarks directed at chief councillor Thomas Cialone, who is a gay man. Homosexuality, he is alleged to have said, is “against nature”.
Huygen (pictured) denied the charge, but was warned by PS president Elio Di Rupo, also a gay man and former prime minister, that he could not stand in the elections in November if the charges turned out to be true.
And so it came to pass. Huygen was relieved of his post as councillor, and later said he had voluntarily decided not to stand in the elections.
At the time, Di Rupo said such remarks were “in opposition to socialist values of equality, fraternity, liberty and justice. The PS is the party that fights for freedom and individual rights. It is unacceptable for an elected socialist official, not to mention a councillor in charge of equal opportunities, to wipe his feet on our basic values. Such a person cannot be allowed to represent the PS at any level.”
Huygen has now been ejected from the party altogether. He continues to deny the accusation, but a disciplinary committee found there was sufficient evidence to support the charge.