Tory councillor in 'racist' row
A TORY councillor at the centre of a row over an online gag has denied racism was behind the joke.
Cllr Roger Walkden posted the quip about a refugee who wishes to be white on the Dover Forum site, prompting a number of complaints and a call from the office of Conservative leader David Cameron.
The joke, which suggests the refugee would lose all the things he had been given by a wish-granting fairy if he was white and British, is still online despite the complaints.
Posting on the same website after the complaints were made Cllr Walkden, who represents Maxton, Elms Vale and Priory on Dover District Council, defended himself against any charge of racism.
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He said: "To anyone who has been offended by this joke, I apologise. I apologise unreservedly that it has caused such monumental offence.
"I hope I won't get castigated for saying that I am also sorry that complaints can be made under the umbrella of racism, I have never been racist in my life, I don't have any racist thoughts at all."
A Tory spokesman said: "The Conservative Party does not condone racism in any form. Cllr Walkden has publicly apologised unreservedly for any offence his comments have caused and asked for it to be removed from the website."
*For the full story see next week's Dover Express.