A FORMER Prestatyn mayor has “categorically” denied any involvement in the posting of a racially charged comment on Facebook aimed at travellers.

A post that read “Hitler had the right idea, anyone hot [sic] any gas canisters?” was posted by an account attributed to Labour county councillor Bob Murray on a discussion about travellers at the Prestatyn Nova last Wednesday.

Rhyl Journal:

It is understood that as a result of the comment cllr Murray has been suspended by his party.

Cllr Murray said: “I was horrified by the posting of this vicious and untrue Facebook comment and categorically deny any involvement in its posting.

“I have now involved the police and am seeking the advice of a legal representative to uncover the source of these untrue comments.”

A spokesperson for North Wales Police said: "We are aware and this alleged hate crime is being investigated.”

A number of complaints have been made, including three to leader of the Denbighshire County Council (DCC) Labour Party cllr Joan Butterfield, who then referred the issue on to the council.

Cllr Butterfield said: “These comments are particularly vile, I can’t describe them in any other way.

“I personally have had three complaints from people who read the comments online before looking myself to see them on social media.

“It is my duty of care to pass on the issue to the appropriate office in DCC to deal with, which I did last week, so it can be dealt with as quickly as possible and in the most appropriate way.”

A spokesperson for Denbighshire County Council has confirmed that the matter has been now been to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (PSOW) for consideration and they cannot comment further at this stage.

A PSOW spokesman said: “I can confirm the Ombudsman has received a complaint against Denbighshire county councillor Bob Murray concerning whether he has breached the authority’s code of conduct.

“The complaint will be assessed before a decision is taken on whether the matter should be investigated.”

National charities working on behalf of gypsies, Roma and travellers have also criticised the comments.

A spokesperson for Friends, Families and Travellers said: “Over 500,000 Roma and Sinti people were murdered during the Holocaust. The alleged comment that ‘Hitler had the right idea’, if made by Councillor Murray, shows that he is absolutely unfit for office. If an investigation finds this to be true, we call for his resignation. All political parties must speak out against anti-gypsyism within their ranks.”

The racially charged post appeared as national media continues to report on an endemic problem with ant-semitism within the Labour party, including a vote of no confidence in leader Jeremy Corbyn by the jewish Labour Movement last week.

The Labour Party manifesto for the 2017 election has made a commitment to:”End racism and discrimination against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, and protect the right to lead a nomadic way of life.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews have also tweeted their condemnation of the post.

Vale of Clwyd AM Ann jones said: "I am angered and disgusted at the Facebook post. There is no place for these sentiments in society or in the Labour Party and I utterly condemn all forms of racism. I am especially disappointed given the rise of hate crimes and attacks on minorities at the moment."

Welsh Labour have been approached for comment.