A NEWLY-elected councillor’s online comments about Islam and mosques dating back to before he was elected have prompted calls for him to resign.

David Wood, who serves on Penistone Town Council, is the subject of an investigation after Facebook posts from his account were unearthed by residents.

One, which has since been deleted, said: “As I’m a Mancunian I am truly perplexed that so many of my friends are against another mosque being built in Manchester. I think it should be the goal of every Englishman to be tolerant, regardless of their religious beliefs.

“Thus the mosque should be allowed in an effort to promote tolerance. That is why I also proposed that two nightclubs be opened next door to the mosque, thereby promoting tolerance from within the mosque.

“We could call one of the clubs, which would be gay, ‘The Turban Cowboy’ and the other a topless bar called ‘You Mecca Me Hot’.

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“Next door should be a butcher’s that specialises in pork, and adjacent to that an open-pit barbecue pork restaurant called ‘Iraq of Ribs’.

“All of this would encourage Muslims to demonstrate the tolerance they demand of us. If you are not laughing or smiling at this point, it is either past your bedtime or it’s midnight at the oasis and time to put your camel to bed.”

Another, which was shared to a UKIP page along with an image of women wearing burkas, said: “How can we get fined for parking or fishing in a place where we’re not supposed to be, yet these people can get away with concealing themselves to cause harm to everyone around them? Are we stupid? Enough is enough. Time to get real, folks.”

The posts, which were made between 2015 and 2017, were forwarded to town council clerk Keith Coulton and Barnsley Council’s compliance officers this week, resulting in a formal complaint being issued against Coun Wood, who has recently been critical of public spending on the town council.

An email sent by the residents to Mr Coulton said: “We believe Coun David Wood’s conduct is detrimental to the council and breaches its media policy.

“This information was brought to our attention by a group of concerned local residents who feel that his increasing prominence in the press, coupled with his role on Penistone Town Council, will bring the town into disrepute.

“We are saddened to think that people from the Muslim community will be given the impression that Penistone is anything less than welcoming to people of all faiths, races and backgrounds.

“We pride ourselves on the friendliness we show to all who come to our area and we feel that David Wood’s widely shared views are at odds with this.”

Coun Wood told the Chronicle he had copied and pasted other people’s views on what he thought would be ‘humorous’ posts.

He added: “I believe in tolerance, whether that be racial, political, religious or on personal views.

“I copy and pasted what I believed to be a humorous post encouraging religious tolerance but was presented in a satirical way.

“I see religious division in life and if humour can help people to see the futility in their squabble and laugh about their pettiness, then that may make them sit up and see how petty they are being arguing about religious beliefs.

“I have only just got my feet under the table so I will not be resigning.

“I suggest that the group of residents or activists in Penistone calling for my resignation are merely out to cause mischief, especially at a time when I’m trying to call for prudence in spending the public’s money here in Penistone.

“I will continue to ask questions about the prudence of the town council as that is what the electorate of Penistone have elected me to do.”

In reference to a campaign run at his business Woody’s Fish and Chips a few years ago, he added: “Remember it was me that fed more than 3,700 homeless and people in need here in Barnsley for free.

Anyone who came presenting a voucher got fed regardless of their colour or religion.”

Coun Alan Gardiner, cabinet spokesman, confirmed Barnsley Council is investigating the complaint.

He said: “We’re aware that a formal complaint has been sent to Penistone Town Council regarding their town councillor, David Wood.

“Under the Localism Act 2011, Barnsley Council as the ‘principal council’ is responsible for considering and investigating any such complaints, and we’ll be in contact with the complainant and town council.

“We’re not in a position to comment any further at the moment.”