Blackpool councillor sorry for donkey-botherer jibe

Councillor Simon Blackburn The councillor now regrets his comment

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A Blackpool councillor has apologised after branding his own constituents "donkey-botherers" on Facebook.

Labour's Simon Blackburn posted the comment from his mobile phone during the Premier League clash between his team, Blackburn Rovers, and Blackpool.

His words have been seized upon by angry Blackpool fans and opposition Conservative councillors.

Town Tory leader Peter Callow said the councillor - up for re-election in May - had "committed political suicide".

Rovers were 2-0 down to their Lancashire rivals when Mr Blackburn - a lifelong Rovers fan - made the remark. The match ended 2-2.

The 37-year-old, who is leader of the Labour group on Blackpool Council, wrote: "Oh my actual God... the donkey-botherers are 2-0 up thanks to two of the worst refereeing decisions ever!"

He thought the jibe would only be seen by friends but his privacy settings had left his page open to anyone with access to the social networking website.

'Very difficult May'

Peter Callow, leader of the Conservative-run council, 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."

Donkeys in Blackpool Blackpool's beach donkeys are one of its well-known tourist attractions

Mr Blackburn is up for election in May and expressed his regret about 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.

"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 and I'm horrified that my remarks may have caused offence."

But Blackpool fans have said they are unimpressed.

Glenn Bowley, chairman of Blackpool FC Supporters Association, said: "It's not really an appropriate comment to make and it could put himself in a position where he is going to have a very difficult May, on election day on the 5th and on the 22nd, when his team might get relegated."

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