A Welsh councillor has been criticised for posting a picture of himself holding a supposed firearm on social media while commenting that he was making sure “there wasn’t any English people trying to cross the channel”.
Some politicians have called for Plaid Cymru councillor Jon Scriven to be suspended over the now-deleted Facebook post which has been called “xenophobic” towards the English.
The post by the representative of Penyrheol in Caerphilly said: “Ogmore-by-Sea tonight for a quick swim and make sure there wasn’t any English people trying to cross the channel.”
Although the post was uploaded to the platform on August 8 and later deleted, it began to be widely shared on Monday afternoon.
Mr Scriven has now apologised for the post, writing on Facebook: “I would like to apologise for any offence caused by my now deleted Facebook post.
“It was ill-judged and I have apologised to the group leader Lindsay Whittle who has accepted my apology.”
Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies tweeted on Monday that he was “speechless”.
“This is a Plaid Cymru councillor,” he said. “This sort of xenophobic attitude is beneath us.”
He called on Plaid leader Adam Price not to “let another scandal rage on without decisive action”.
It is possible Mr Davies was referring to the saga involving MP Jonathan Edwards who was suspended then readmitted into the Westminster party after receiving a police caution for assaulting his wife.
Welsh Liberal Democrats leader Jane Dodds MP said in a statement: “There is a clear implication of violence and xenophobia in this post.
“Whether or not it was intended as a joke or not, it is entirely inappropriate for an elected official to make such comments, when they should know better.
“With so much hate in politics the last few years we should be trying to build bridges, not stoke division further.
“Plaid Cymru must now do the right thing and suspend the councillor in question.”
Caerphilly Senedd member Labour’s Hefin David had earlier in the day tweeted a screenshot of the post saying: “Not appropriate surely Caerphilly Plaid?”
Hours later in another tweet, Mr David said: “To those who posted offensive comments in response to this. Our society is facing huge challenges.
“We should be seeking to unite and address real concerns such as the cost-of-living crisis.
“Wrapping yourself in a flag and hating outsiders won’t help a single person in need.”
A Plaid Cymru spokesperson said: “Councillor Scriven’s now deleted post was inappropriate and goes against Plaid Cymru’s views and values.
“He was right to apologise for any offence caused.
“All Plaid Cymru elected representatives have a duty to uphold the highest standards. Councillor Scriven has been suspended pending an investigation.”
Caerphilly County Borough Council has been contacted for comment.