The Lord Mayor of Liverpool has resigned after sharing a racist video comparing a black person to a monkey.
Councillor Peter Brennan, who represents Labour in Old Swan, stood down from the ceremonial role following complaints of “offensive material” posted in a WhatsApp group on Monday.
The city’s elected mayor Joe Anderson said he was “shocked and appalled” by the video.
Mr Brennan, who was elected in May, said it was a “calamitous mistake”.
He said he now recognised his actions were “racist and offensive” and “I sincerely regret the hurt and upset that I have caused by sharing it”.
Liverpool City Council confirmed the video shared by Mr Brennan contained material that compared a black person to a monkey.
Mr Brennan said: “It was a very stupid thing to do, but honestly it was not meant to cause harm, I have reflected on it and can again honestly say I am appalled that I could have done so and that it has caused harm and will upset many people.
“The black community I have clearly offended will have lost confidence in me for making such a calamitous mistake, I clearly cannot represent our wonderfully diverse community if people are angry and upset with me.
“I apologise for this serious misjudgement and it is something that has scarred me and will live with me always, please find it in your heart to forgive this huge mistake.”
In a statement, Mr Brennan said he was a “proud” patron of the Anthony Walker Foundation – a charity established to “promote racial harmony”. It was set up by the family of 18-year-old Anthony Walker, who was the victim of a racially motivated murder in Huyton, Merseyside in 2005.
Mr Anderson said the video was circulated on the 14th anniversary of the killing.
He said: “Racist language and behaviour is inexcusable and unforgivable in all its forms. The video is completely at odds with my values, the values of Liverpool City Council, and all who live and work across the city.
“On behalf of the people of Liverpool I apologise for the offence and hurt caused.”
Mr Anderson said he had referred the matter to the Labour party.
A spokesman for the Anthony Walker Foundation said the group was “shocked and stunned” by the incident.