Tory councillor compares Muslim women in burkas to patio umbrellas in Facebook post

A Scottish Conservative councillor has apologised for sharing an image comparing Muslim women to patio umbrellas.

Aberdeenshire councillor and deputy provost Ron McKail is reported to have shared an image of three folded black patio umbrellas on Facebook.

The post shared in 2016 included the text: “I spent half an hour talking to them, wanting to learn about their culture until the bartender cut me off and told me they were patio umbrellas.”

The apology came amid a wider row in the party over comments made by former foreign secretary Boris Johnson on burkas.

Mr Johnson has refused to apologise for comments comparing women wearing face-covering veils to bank robbers and letter boxes despite condemnation from senior Tory figures including Scottish party leader Ruth Davidson.

Mr McKail has previously said sorry for sharing social media posts from the far-right group Britain First.

He said the patio umbrella image was part of the same group of posts, adding: “The post in question was shared more than two years ago and contained two photos, one of which was a poppy with the message ‘Support our Soldiers’. I am a former serviceman and that is why I shared it.

“When this was first reported in the press in 2017, I apologised unreservedly, and I do so again now.

“I have removed this post and I have made clear I did not intend to cause offence, just to show my support for the UK military.”


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