Councillor in ‘donkey botherers’ gaffe storm

A LABOUR politician faced calls to resign yesterday after branding his own constituents “donkey botherers” on the Facebook website.

Coun Simon Blackburn made the light-hearted remark while watching Premier League rivals Blackpool FC and Blackburn Rovers battle out a keenly-contested Lancashire derby on Saturday.

The 37-year-old politician, though leader of the Labour group on Blackpool Council, is a lifelong fan of rivals and near neighbours Rovers.

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The councillor made the remark via his phone and posted it on his Facebook page, as his side went two-nil down.

The comment, read: “Oh my actual God... the donkey botherers are 2-0 up thanks to two of the worst refereeing decisions ever!”

He is understood to have believed it would only be seen by friends. But in fact his privacy settings meant it could be seen by anyone – and it was soon picked up on by Blackpool fans.

The gaffe has been seized upon by rival Tories who have called for him to resign, one source claiming it is a clear reference to “having sex with ruddy donkeys”.

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The leader of Tory-run Blackpool Council, Peter Callow, said: “What an unbelievably stupid, ridiculous, crass thing to say.

“He’s just committed political suicide.

“He has stabbed the people of Blackpool in the back and he needs to resign immediately.”

Mr Blackburn, who is up for election in May, is now regretting making the remark.

“I was alarmed to discover that what I had intended to be private comments, made in a very light-hearted way to a friend, have been made public,” he said.

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“I am hugely proud of Blackpool FC and their supporters, both of whom are a huge asset to the town and I apologise for any offence caused.

“I hope and trust that there will be many more enjoyable meetings between Blackpool and Blackburn in the top flight.

Saturday’s match ended 2-2.