A Warwick district councillor who made offensive comments towards Irish travellers has resigned.
Conservative Cllr Nick Harrington, who represented Stoneleigh and Cubbington, made a comment on his Twitter account during the voting for the Eurovision song contest on Saturday evening.
Members of the public quickly took to social media in anger of his comment.
Cllr Harrington is also a Magistrate on the Coventry and Warwickshire bench.
In response Cllr Andrew Mobbs, leader of the district council, suspended Cllr Harrington pending an investigation.
Mr Harrington has issued a statement this afternoon (Wednesday) where he apologised for his actions and announced that he had resigned from his role as councillor.
His statement says:
“To the residents of Stoneleigh and Cubbington Ward,
“On Saturday 13th May 2017, whilst watching the Eurovision Song Contest, I thoughtlessly sent a tweet that caused considerable offence to both members of the Traveller community and to those of Irish heritage.
“I apologise unreservedly. My comments about the Irish border were also foolish. In addition there have been comments about my Facebook post of an entry in a scarecrow competition last year which was based on the Olympics. I accept this was ill-judged for which I apologise to Christine Ohuruogu.
“Therefore it is with deep regret that I formally tender my resignation as Member for Stoneleigh and Cubbington Ward effective immediately.
“I am devastated that I have caused these events and apologise unreservedly to all constituents of Stoneleigh and Cubbington Ward and to the wider public for the offence I have caused.
“It has been an honour and privilege to serve as a Councillor supporting the residents of Stoneleigh and Cubbington and I wish the next elected Member every success working with the dedicated and hard working Clerks and Parish Councillors in the Ward.”
Leader of Warwick district council, Andrew Mobbs has released a statement about Nick Harrington’s resignation and earlier statement.
He said: “I can confirm that Nick Harrington has resigned from his role as Ward Councillor for Stoneleigh and Cubbington Ward today (Wednesday) and I also understand that he has resigned from his role as a Councillor on Weston Under Wetherley Parish Council.
“I believe his resignation to be entirely appropriate. He is however, still under investigation by the Police who will no doubt update us as soon as they have a made their report.
“I am very disappointed that his comment was made in the first place and by the reaction it generated towards the district council on social media.
“Nick Harrington was not an employee of Warwick District Council and so I would like to add that his attitude and comments are in no way supported by the district council, or are in any way a reflection on the progressive and dedicated staff that work for the council.”