Jefferies, 65, taught at exclusive Clifton College’s School House, an historic all boy’s college, for more than 40 years.
He is well-known around Clifton and campaigns heavily for the local Liberal Democrats by posting leaflets through doors around the upmarket area.
Mr Jefferies also fronted the Canynge Road Campaign, which stopped the planned development of two houses on Clifton College’s sports ground in 2005.
Councillor Trevor Blythe, 63, who was supported by Mr Jefferies in the 2009 election for his Clifton Ward seat, said he was ”flabbergasted” that he had been arrested.
He said: ”The whole thing is tragic. We have to wait for the outcome of what the police find on Chris Jefferies.
”I only know him in as much as he is a Liberal Democrat member and a member of our ward committee. He is a very private person.
”We are all very shocked and flabbergasted about his arrest. All of the Liberal Democrat members in Clifton who knew him are quite shocked.
”It is something they never expected to happen.
”I think people in Clifton have been worried about their safety since Jo’s disappearance but I haven’t been approached. Clifton is a lovely, safe place.”
Mr Blythe, who has lived in Clifton for 23 years, added that he had been a councillor for one-and-a-half years and did not know Mr Jefferies personally.
Mark Moore, headteacher of Clifton College – where Mr Jefferies taught English – said the bachelor had taken early retirement in 2001.
He added: ”On behalf of everyone that lives in and around Clifton, my thoughts are with the family and friends of Jo Yeates.”
Former pupils today told how Mr Jefferies sported an out of control afro/ comb-over and ”constantly” made lewd sexual remarks as he clutched the hands of pupils in class.
One male student, who was taught GCSE English by the bachelor in the 1990s and did not wish to be named, said the teacher ”creeped out” both male and female students at the College.
A Chrysler Neon removed from the Clifton road
He said: ”He was a stickler for discipline and was very traditional. He used to get very angry and shout and throw books and pens across the room.
”We were convinced he was gay. He used to touch people’s hands and he’d say ”Oh you’re very sweaty. That means you’re sexually active. You’ve been sexually active recently”.
”You didn’t want him to come near you, he was very unkempt and had dirty fingernails. I think girls were more creeped out by him than boys, he was weird.
”He would over emphasise words and kept repeating them in an odd way. He would say things 10-15 times over.
”The things he taught us were really odd, he loved old English poetry. The way he talked, the way he walked and the way he acted. It was all very strange.
A Volvo S40 was removed from the Clifton address
”He was very flamboyant. We were convinced he was gay.
”When we told other teachers he was strange they would laugh and say ”Ah yes, Mr Jefferies, he’s a bit of a nutter, isn’t he.”
Another student, who also did not wish to be named, added: ”He was fascinated by making lewd sexual remarks.
”He used to make them constantly, it was really disturbing. The way he pronounced words and said his sentences was also weird.”
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