An Angus councillor has been branded a “racist misogynist” after admitting filming two women wearing burkinis whilst on holiday.
Tommy Stewart, Independent councillor for Montrose and District, faced a backlash after publishing the image with the caption “thought I’d seen everything.”
He admitted filming the women, who appeared to be fully clothed or wearing a burkini – which keeps the wearer covered – from a balcony in a Turkish holiday resort.
He took a still shot from the video and posted it on his personal Facebook page.
When one follower pointed out he was filming in Turkey, which he said was “98% Muslim”, Mr Stewart replied “would you go swimming with all your clothes on?”
His comments and those of others on his page sparked fury among business owners in the town and prompted Angus Councillor Julie Bell to brand his actions “an embarrassment”.
One businesswoman, who did not wish to be named, said: “Councillor Stewart took a video of two Muslim women in burkinis swimming in the sea, just having a nice day at the beach.
“It comes as no surprise as he is the councillor who was trying to organise Roy Chubby Brown to come to Montrose, who is well known for his racist humour.
“Not only is this indicative of how completely narrow minded he is to other people’s cultures, it is a disgusting display of ignorance by a man who represents our community and Muslim people within our community.
“I am beyond disgusted by his behaviour, as are many of my friends and peers.”
Ms Bell, SNP member for Kirriemuir and Dean, said: “Councillor Stewart should recall he has signed up as an Angus councillor to be part of an exemplar organisation against gender-based abuse.
“This racist misogynist episode is an embarrassment to this administration and to Angus Council.”
Defending his actions Mr Stewart said he did not mean to cause any offence.
He said: “It is people going into the water with their clothes on, you don’t normally do that.
“I wouldn’t go in with my clothes on.
“It certainly wasn’t racially intended and was on my own personal Facebook page.
“I’m not denying I filmed it from my balcony.
“With hindsight I maybe shouldn’t have done it and will delete it now.
“I apologise if I have offended anyone.”
Mr Stewart found himself in the firing line earlier this year when the charity he heads, Santa Claus in Montrose, booked controversial comic Roy “Chubby” Brown for a fundraising event.
On that occasion Ms Bell said she was “appalled” Mr Stewart had booked Brown who she described as “a misogynist, he’s transphobic and homophobic, he mocks people with disabilities and he’s a racist bigot.”
Brown cancelled the event due to a family bereavement.