COUNCILLOR Peter Greenhalgh has apologised after he was caught losing his rag with a reporter on television.

The Conservative councillor was interviewed on BBC’s Inside Out programme on Monday night talking about the new Wichelstowe development when he blew his top.

Coun Greenhalgh, who is cabinet member for council transformation, sustainability, strategic planning and transport, was seen asking the BBC journalist, Alastair McKee, to stop filming mid-way through his interview.

He questioned Mr McKee’s knowledge of the way a council worked before telling him to “stop asking dumb-ass questions”.

Coun Greenhalgh said he was disappointed that, after being interviewed for 45 minutes, it was cut down to a 30-second clip which included a part he had asked to be off the record.

The programme focused on the new residential development of Wichelstowe and the frustrations of its residents who are still waiting for community facilities they were promised when they moved in three years ago. Mr McKee questioned Coun Greenhalgh on what had happened on the council’s part in the failure of the development after speaking to several residents in East Wichel.

It then appeared that Coun Greenhalgh swore off camera which was bleeped out.

Coun Greenhalgh later apologised for his reaction and yesterday said that he was disappointed with the BBC for the way the interview had been edited.

He said: “I think it is easy for the BBC to distort what is heard. The reporter continued making a large number of similar points which were not valid.

“I am disappointed they chose to use footage that was off the record. No offence, but you can’t trust journalists. Originally they wanted to talk about Wichelstowe but they continued to ask questions which the council isn’t involved in.

“I would like to apologise to anyone who may have been offended by what was said.

“I am big enough and ugly enough to take it on the chin. It is a mistake on my behalf and I shouldn’t have said what I did.

“I don’t know if they are from constituents but I have had a couple of emails last night, but if I offended anyone I apologise.

“I think anyone in that situation would have been wound up.”

Following this incident there were rumours that Coun Greenhalgh’s position in the cabinet was under threat but that has been strongly denied by the council’s deputy leader Garry Perkins.

He said: “I heard it was questioned but the fact is, because Peter has been working a couple of long days some questions regarding transport were answered by Rod Bluh on his part.

“Unfortunately I haven’t seen the programme so I cannot comment on it.

“But I have been frustrated before on many occasions and when a line of questions doesn’t let you get your point across you get frustrated.”

“Sometimes reporters do it deliberately but you just have to bite your tongue.”