THE councillor who found himself at the centre of a media storm after posting a controversial Tweet about gay marriage has offered to resign from Wycombe District Council's Cabinet.

James Malliff was thrown into the spotlight after he wrote on his Twitter page last Friday in response to David Cameron's speech backing gay marriage.

He wrote: "There is no doubt the PM is wrong on this issue. We may as well legalise marriage with animals, crude I concede but no apology."

Cllr Malliff is district councillor for Hazlemere South and cabinet member for big society and localism.

He said the Tweet was misconstrued and his comment was meant to be about where the line is drawn in these matters.

Cllr Malliff, who is a Christian, said he wanted to protect the sanctity of heterosexual marriage and thought same sex unions should be treated as civil partnerships.

He apologised for any offence caused.

Leader of WDC, Alex Collingwood, called an emergency informal cabinet meeting last night which was also attended by Conservative agent Sue Hynard.

Cllr Collingwood said: "Based on our discussions, James has now been suspended from the group under 11.4 of the Conservative Group Rules and has offered his resignation from cabinet pending the outcome of the investigation.

"However, because of his outstanding contribution to cabinet and to council, I am prepared to wait for the outcome of the investigation before making any further decisions."

A Conservative HQ Party spokesman said: "These comments are completely unacceptable. Councillor Malliff’s local party association has suspended him with immediate effect."

A provisional date of November 24 has been set to elect a new councillor in the Hazlemere South ward following the resignation of Bob Bate earlier this month.