A SENIOR North-East politician was accused of bringing shame on a town as a row over a sexist slur erupted.

Jonathan Wallace, leader of Gateshead Council’s opposition group, sparked outrage last month after labelling Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Kim McGuinness a “Barbie doll reading from a script”.

At a full council meeting this week where his party twice staged walkouts, the would-be MP faced a barrage of attacks from the authority’s ruling Labour members.

During debate on a motion condemning his comments and calling for misogyny to be classified as a hate crime, Labour called for him to be sacked from his role as opposition leader and as his party’s Parliamentary candidate for Blaydon.

Cllr Angela Douglas said he should be “ashamed” of the remarks and listed a series of previous insults he had made – including instances where he had called women “good for nothing other than kindling”, “silly and childish”, and “a chocolate loving, kebab scoffing individual”.

Council leader Martin Gannon said that Lib Dem councillors should have joined Labour in condemning the opposition chief, before calling on their national leader Jo Swinson – who herself has called for misogyny to be made a hate crime – to take action against her members in Gateshead.

He added: “The comments made by Councillor Wallace bring this council into disrepute. It damages the reputation of Gateshead and every single one of the 200,000 people who live in Gateshead.”

In a subsequent debate on the Domestic Abuse Bill, a number of Labour councillors likened Cllr Wallace’s comments to the kind of remarks made by perpetrators of domestic abuse.

Cllr Douglas said she has “never been so angry” in the council chamber and that women “get beaten” after comments like his.

Cllr Mary Foy told the Lib Dems to “think about your leader and the remarks he has made and ask if this is the person you want to represent you”.

Liberal Democrat councillors walked out en masse at both the misogyny motion and one on abolishing SATs in primary schools.

The group’s deputy leader, Cllr Ron Beadle, claimed that both were out of order as they improperly required the council to endorse either a Labour Party candidate or campaign.

He also said that Cllr Wallace has “rightly apologised to us and publicly” and called for a stop to “party political bickering”.

Cllr Wallace, who was defeated in the PCC election in July, apologised in August and said he “won’t repeat similar comments in the future”.

After the meeting, Cllr Beadle said: “It is not the role of any public body to endorse the election campaign of any political party candidate.

“We believe this to be a wholly inappropriate use of the council and public resources. I know of no other council or body that has endorsed the campaign of a party political candidate who stood in a public election.

“Liberal Democrats in Gateshead cannot and will not lend legitimacy to these two motions which should have been ruled out of order by the mayor. For that reason we left the chamber rather than assist Labour in potentially bringing the authority into disrepute.”

The mayor, Cllr Michael Hood, told the meeting that the council’s legal advice was that both motions were acceptable.

Labour’s Cllr Helen Haran added: “It is despicable that we are speaking to an echo chamber today. On what other motion would people think it was appropriate to leave the room and not listen to people. If ever there was a show of misogynistic behaviour, this is it.”