A PRO-INDEPENDENCE councillor in Wales has apologised for an “ill-judged” social media post in which he was pictured holding a gun, which he said was to stop "English people trying to cross the channel".

In a post to his personal Facebook page put up earlier this month, Caerphilly County Borough councillor Jon Scriven appeared holding a rifle on a beach.

Alongside the photo the Plaid Cymru councillor wrote: “Ogmore-by-Sea tonight for a quick swim and make sure there wasn’t any English people trying to cross the channel.”

The small village of Ogmore-by-Sea sits on the north of the Bristol channel, with the English county of Devon across the water.

The National: Jon Scriven Facebook

A screenshot of the post was tweeted out by Caerphilly’s Labour Senedd Member Hefin David, with the caption: “Not appropriate surely?”

The responses to the Labour MS’s tweet were divided, with some branding Scriven’s comment as “xenophobia”, while others argued it was a joke.

The Plaid Cymru councillor has since apologised for the post.

In a statement he said: “I would like to apologise for any offence caused by my now deleted Facebook post. It was ill-judged and I have apologised to the group leader Lindsay Whittle who has accepted my apology.”

Leader of the council’s Plaid Cymru group, Lindsay Whittle, had reacted with a love heart to his fellow party member’s social media post – which was originally published on August 8.

Following Scriven’s post being taken down, Whittle said: “Jon Scriven has apologised to me as leader of the Plaid Cymru group for the remark on Facebook, and I have accepted that.”

David – who has himself been reprimanded for comments on social media in the past – said: “At a time when our society is facing huge challenges, it’s incredibly concerning to see this from a Caerphilly Plaid councillor. We should be seeking to unite people and address real concerns like the cost of living, not post disturbing images that are calculated to divide us.”

Caerphilly’s Labour MP, Wayne David, criticised Scriven’s post and tweeted: “This is truly the unacceptable face of Welsh nationalism.”

Meanwhile, Conservative MS for South East Wales, Natasha Asghar, has written to the leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council, Sean Morgan, and the leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price, calling for urgent action.

Asghar said: “Not only is this post xenophobic, but the implication of violence is completely repugnant and warrants a full and proper investigation.

“Understandably many people have taken offence to the post and while I am pleased to hear it has been deleted, the fact it was posted in the first place is deeply troubling.

“It is imperative that both Caerphilly Council and Plaid Cymru look into this serious matter without dither and delay.”

On Twitter, Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said he was “speechless”.

He added: “Adam Price cannot let another scandal rage on without decisive action. This sort of xenophobic attitude is beneath us.”

Plaid Cymru has been approached for comment.