Basildon Labour's leader has tweeted a public apology after comments made by him which inferred people who cross-dress are unfit to fight crime were branded shameful.

Gavin Callaghan was rebuked by mayor David Dadds for comments about ex-New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, now President Donald Trump’s lawyer.

Mr Callaghan replied: “It’s a well-known fact Mr Mayor- Mayor Giuliani’s a cross-dresser.”

Mr Dadds replied: “I don’t want you to be shouting over…can you put on the speaker please and say it.”

Mr Callaghan then spoke into the microphone for the record, saying: “I’ve just said it.

“I’ve just remarked that Mayor Giuliani’s not exactly the inspiration we look for because he’s a cross-dresser.”

Mr Dadds informed Mr Callaghan that his remarks breached the council's code of conduct.

Read more: Labour leader in cross-dresser row after remarks at council meeting

The former council leader tweeted an apology after the meeting which read: "My point, badly made I admit, is that Rudy Guiliani [sic] is not someone I'd look to for advice on education.

"He has been part of the Trump fake news agenda since 2016 and has lost credibility.

"I should have made that clearer and I apologise for any offence caused."

He later added: "I chose my words inconsiderately. My point is that Guiliani [sic] is a fake news merchant and is not trustworthy. I don't care what he wears."

The incident came in the same meeting in which Mr Callaghan failed to apologise for previously breaking the council's code of conduct which resulted in him being censured.

He was due to apologise for calling Conservative councillor Chris Jackman a "liar" and a "bent councillor" on social media but declined to do so at the meeting on Thursday night.

He will receive a formal statement expressing the council's severe disapproval but the council is powerless to do anything more.