Councillor rejects calls to resign

Morpeth town councillor David Clark at the site of the King Edward VI School war memorial.
Morpeth town councillor David Clark at the site of the King Edward VI School war memorial.
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Calls have been made for a Morpeth town councillor to resign following comments on social media.

But Coun David Clark has claimed he was referring to extremists rather than a whole religion after making the remarks that apparently criticised Islam.

The Facebook post, which appeared earlier this month, has been criticised by residents on the site and on Twitter. It was also brought to the attention of the Tell MAMA organisation, which measures and monitors anti-Muslim incidents.

After seeing the post, a Morpeth resident, who did not wish to be named, contacted the Herald.

He said: “I absolutely condemn much of what he has said and believe his statements portray him as ignorant and discriminatory at the very best.

“If the comments were somehow a mistype, then admit it, apologise for any offence caused and show some contrition.

“If he is not willing to do this, he should resign.”

In response to the criticism, Coun Clark said: “I abhor extremism of any kind and I was referring to extremists and not Islam as a whole.

“I’m very disappointed that some people have attempted to make cheap political points regarding the terrible tragedy in Paris earlier this month and they should be ashamed of themselves.

“I, along with most right-thinking people, am disgusted and angered by ISIS and the murders they commit – they can’t be condemned in strong enough terms.”

He added: “This is my personal opinion and therefore it does not represent the views of any council I am a member of. I will not dignify the questioners with any further response.”