Mayor slammed for comparing Black Lives Matter protesters to monkeys
Ex-town mayor who blamed hackers for post on his Facebook comparing black protesters on a police car to baboons at a safari park now claims it ‘wasn’t meant as an insult’
- Peter Kraus claimed he was ‘hacked’ after Facebook post was shared to his page
- Vile images appeared to compare black protesters to monkeys at a safari park
- He has since confessed images were posted to show ‘we are wore than animals’
The former mayor of a Welsh town who blamed hackers for a post on his Facebook page comparing black protesters to monkeys has now claimed it ‘wasn’t meant as an insult’ in a dramatic U-turn.
Councillor Peter Kraus shared a contentious Facebook post to his page on Monday which appeared to liken an image from the George Floyd clashes in New York to a photograph of monkeys swarming a car at a safari park.
He claimed earlier today he had only found out about the post when he was contacted by the Pembroke Dock Town Council clerk, amid outrage and accusations of racism.
The former mayor for Pembroke Dock, who has deleted the controversial post, denied responsibility hours ago, saying: ‘That’s a hacker. That’s nothing to do with me whatsoever. I’m getting friend requests all the time, and they double up – it’s that sort of thing.’
But Mr Kraus has now made a dramatic U-turn and confessed the post was meant to show ‘we are worse than animals’, adding it was ‘not meant as an insult to black people.’
The former mayor of Pembroke Dock Peter Kraus (pictured) previously claimed he was hacked after a shocking post comparing black protesters to monkeys appeared on his Facebook page
The shared post (pictured) appeared to liken an image from the George Floyd clashes in New York to a photograph of monkeys swarming a car at a safari park
Mr Kraus said: ‘The point I was making was that we are worse than animals. It is bad enough with this pandemic without all these crazy things that are going on everywhere. It was not meant as an insult to black people.
‘We are all humans, I have lots of black friends in London and all over the world who I respect; I am a person who loves peace, that is why I started a charity Over the Rainbow Dream Come True in 1999. I absolutely hate all this violence that is going on.’
The councillor had previously claimed he didn’t know how the post had appeared on his Facebook page, while insisting he must have been hacked.
‘I don’t know how I was hacked. All I know is I had a thing from the town council to say about this picture on there which I never even put on. That’s how it is,’ he said today.
‘It must have been posted to my timeline because the town clerk phoned me and said “What the hell is going on?” I’ve got lots and lots and lots of friends who are, black, white, and you name it as well, all over the world.’
Mr Kraus was mayor of Pembroke Dock from 2012 to 2013. He is an elected town councillor representing Llanion Ward and, according to his LinkedIn profile, works with the West Wales Maritime Heritage Society.
The councillor also claimed his voluntary work commitments meant he rarely found time to use his computer – despite having made 62 posts to his Facebook in the past two days.
‘I was made aware yesterday. I don’t know when it was put on there,’ he said. ‘All of a sudden I had a phone call from the town clerk to say about this picture, so as I said, it’s totally out of my hands.
Mr Kraus has now made a dramatic U-turn and confessed the post was meant to show ‘we are worse than animals’, adding it was ‘not meant as an insult to black people’
Residents from the town in south west Wales took to social media to criticise Mr Kraus for the post, with many accusing the former mayor of racism
‘The thing is, I do lots for the town, volunteer work for the town. And what it is, I don’t have time to go on the computer very often now.’
Labour councillor Joshua Beynon confirmed on Twitter that Mr Kraus has been reported to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman for the post.
The 22-year-old had recently campaigned for purple lights to illuminate the town in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, which was spurred into action last month when George Floyd, 46, was killed.
The black man had gasped ‘I can’t breathe’ as white police officer Derek Chauvin, who has since been charged with second-degree murder, knelt on his neck for nine minutes.
Sharing a comment about Mr Kraus’ post, Mr Beynon said: ‘Purple lights seem to have brought out the racists.’
He said he has faced criticism from a ‘small minority’ for promoting the Black Lives Matter movement.
‘After the past week, I’m sad to see another derogatory post, this time one that compares black people to monkeys, it is the lowest of the low,’ he told MailOnline.
Mr Kraus (middle) was mayor of Pembroke Dock from 2012 to 2013. He is now an elected town councillor representing Llanion Ward
Labour councillor Joshua Beynon (pictured) confirmed on Twitter that Mr Kraus has been reported to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman for the post
The 22-year-old had recently campaigned for purple lights to illuminate the town in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement
‘While it seems that there is a lot of hatred and negativity around, this whole event has highlighted the urgent need to fight racism that is clearly evident in our county.
‘I will continue to call it out when I see it.’
Residents from the town in south west Wales took to social media to criticise Mr Kraus for his post, with many accusing the former mayor of racism.
One user said: ‘Cllr Kraus has shared this disgusting racist post on his Facebook. He is an elected official. This is an outrage.’
Another added: ‘This is the kind of thing we’re dealing with in Pembrokeshire, the post shared by local town councillor Peter Kraus.
‘I’ve called out racism locally this last week on various posts and been labelled a ‘lefty’ and a ‘snowflake.”
Pembroke Dock Town Council has been contacted for comment.
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