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Mayor offers apology for foul-mouth comments.

THE foul-mouthed rants of Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon resulted in him offering an apology at the weekend.

Comments made by the mayor were exposed by the Journal's sister newspaper, the Sunday Sun, yesterday. In a series of audio tape recordings leaked to the paper, Mr Mallon can be heard describing taxi drivers as "scumbags" and "thick" while branding a female colleague as "stupid". He also used expletives freely.

The mayor also can be heard making a sexual slur about a female colleague.

But the politician insisted "I'm not sexist, I'm not a racist" after the tapes, which were secretly recorded, were make public by his former friend, taxi company owner Mohammed Bashir.

The two men have been involved in a long-running dispute.

The revelations have led to calls for Mr Mallon to step down from his post, but he told a press conference he would not do so.

He said: "Describing one officer , I said the officer was so straight that if they had sex it would be in one position."

He claimed he was referring to the situation and not the woman herself.

Mr Mayor went onto to claim his comments were taken out of context.

"I am deeply sorry for any embarrassment or upset I have caused them, their family, and the council," he said.

"I am also saddened someone I regarded for many years as a friend would betray the privacy of our conversions in this way."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 25, 2011
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