A Tory councillor has apologised after sharing a photo of nude women on a boat with the caption: “If Carlsberg did illegal immigrants.”
Mike Kusneraitis, a Conservative councillor for Runnymede Borough Council posted the image on 24 July in a private Facebook group.
The post, which plays on the beer firm’s slogan "If Carlsberg did...", has since been taken down, though the councillor has admitted making a number of “offensive” postings on social media, the Telegraph reports.
Among those postings were a picture of a dog with a towel on its head and a sexually explicit cartoon.
On Friday he posted an apology on Facebook in which he implored his constituents judge him “by my actions in the community, not by a misjudged post on social media.”
The message in full:
“After reading this mornings local paper I would like to state that it was never my intention to offend or upset anyone and if I have done then I want take this opportunity to apologise sincerely and wholeheartedly.
“Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not and have never been a racist. Growing up in a family that came to this country to escape fascism and genocide I am only too aware of the horror and destruction discrimination on grounds of nationality, ethnicity and faith brings.
“I'm proud to represent and be a part of a society that is diverse and inclusive. I was humbled by the effort and cooperation demonstrated by the volunteers from the Sikh, Muslim and Christian communities working tirelessly together during last years flooding.
“People who attended the Amnesty International's Magna Carta lecture in June saw me stand up and publicly defend Muslims and those of all faiths and I have been honoured to be invited to attend muslim peace symposiums and feel privileged to have spent last Saturday at the Annual Convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
“Judge me by my actions in the community not by a misjudged post on social media.”
Get Surrey reports Kusneraitis will be investigated by the Conservative party.
Chairman of the Runnymede and Weybridge Conservative Association Peter Taylor told the newspaper he was consulting the group on the matter.
The Islamic Welfare Association of West Surrey has since invited Cllr Kusneraitis to its next "Meet Your Muslim Meeting" on 19 September.