A Labour party activist has apologised for joking about causing a bomb threat hoax at a controversial Conservative party event.
The Dewsbury County Conservative Association sparked anger among former miners and their supporters when it booked its annual dinner at the National Coal Mining Museum near Grange Moor.
The museum, formerly Caphouse Colliery, was closed as a working pit in October 1985, six months after the conclusion of the year-long miners’ strike.
Upon hearing the Dewsbury Tories were planning a dinner at the former mine two days after the anniversary of the end of the strike, a number of groups, including the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, called for a picket line to be formed around the venue on the day of the dinner.
Peter Ward, who once worked for Batley and Spen MP Mike Wood, took to Facebook to vent his views.
Liversedge-based Mr Ward posted: “Sounds like a good night for bomb scares. What about contacting the firms who supply this catering outfit? Lots of scope for a fun event.”
Anthony Hegney, the director of the museum’s catering firm, Asparagus Green, said police were needed to guard the museum and patrol his home after threats were made to both himself and staff.
Mr Hegney and the museum were forced to cancel the booking over safety fears.
On Friday Mr Ward apologised for his post claiming it was “a stupid remark on Facebook.”
He said: “I meant the comment as a joke but realise that it was an unacceptable thing to joke about. I apologise unreservedly.”
A Labour spokesperson said: “Peter Ward has apologised for a crass and insensitive remark and realises it was an unacceptable thing to joke about.
“He has been reminded of his responsibilities as a Labour Party member and warned about his future conduct.”
Mark Eastwood, chairman of the association, said: “This is not surprising given that the Shadow Chancellor is on record using violent language and suggesting lynching a female MP.
“This is just yet another example of how vile abuse, intimidation and threats of violence are common place and deemed acceptable behaviour in today’s Labour Party.
“If Labour truly wanted to see an end to the cycle of abuse and intimidation, they would take firmer action.
“Clearly, they see political advantage in violently intimidating those who have a different point of view.”