A DECISION to include a page of jokes in a parish council's newsletter backfired when they were branded 'racist, sexist and offensive' and more suited to a college rag mag.

Now the red faced council chairman has been forced to hold up his hands and apologise and promise it will not happen again.

Criticism of the jokes contained in the latest publically-funded newsletter distributed by Cofton Hackett parish council has come from Labour county and district councillor Peter McDonald.

He represents the Beacon division which includes the Cofton area. Some villagers too have taken exception to a particular joke branding it anti Labour.

Cllr McDonald said he has received several complaints from Cofton residents, claiming the jokes are feeble, bordering on racism and likely to be offensive to women.

He said: "I agree with those upset by the so called jokes, the type of which you might see in a college rag magazine, and a parish newsletter is no place for politics, even jokes.

"I am surprised the parish council could not find some interesting and worthwhile local news to publish instead, especially as the newsletter is financed by council tax payers."

This week embarrassed parish council chairman Richard Deeming explained the jokes had been included in the newsletter by fellow parish councillor Brian Bridgewater as a 'filler' without his knowledge.

"But the buck stops with me," he said. "It will not happen again. In future the newsletter will be proof read before it goes to press and I will put an apology in the next edition".

He confirmed he personally had received complaints from villagers upset at the inclusion of the jokes.

Among the list of 24 jokes, number one asks. .. If you take an Oriental person and spin him around does he become disoriented? Another...

.. If the Jacksonville Jaguars are known as 'Jags' and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the Bucs what does that make the Tennessee Titans?

The lengthy, allegedly anti Labour joke, refers to St Peter, Gordon Brown, a fan... and lies.