Royal Borough leader Cllr Simon Dudley has broken his silence following the row over his letter to the police and crime commissioner demanding stronger action against beggars in Windsor's streets.

After staying out of the limelight since the row began Cllr Dudley gave a radio interview this morning.

Asked about accusations that the letter showed he did not care about the homeless he said: "I was drawing a distinction between homelessness which is an abomination in a civilised society and anti-social behaviour."

He gave the first public indication that he regretted referring to the forthcoming royal wedding in the letter, saying: "I did not think it would light the touch paper the way it has done" before admitting: "I would not have done it on reflection."

He was reminded of the time he 'slept rough' himself soon after becoming leader as part of a campaign against homelessness and insisted he remained committed to dealing with homelessness in the borough.

This afternoon he told the Observer he had not expected the furore that his letter has caused, saying: "I was not expecting this but at the end of the day I'm leader of the Royal Borough and will be getting on with the job.

"A lot of thought went into the letter. It was not about clearing people off the street to improve the aesthetics but about dealing with anti-social behaviour.

"I did not know the whole thing would flare up into the situation it did."

But he has no intention of standing down, saying: "There is still a huge amount to do."