RACE and religious hate graffiti was sprayed on council flats in Otley.

A shocking slogan directing violence towards Jewish and Muslim people — though both words were spelt incorrectly — appeared on a wall at Fairfax Flats last Saturday morning.

Residents blamed “idiots” for the graffiti, which carried an EDL (English Defence League) signature, though some suspected it might actually have been an ill-judged attempt to mock far-right groups.

Otley Town Council leader John Eveleigh condemned the incident, which happened in the same week the world was commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, as indefensible either way.

Cllr Eveleigh (Lab, Ashfield) said: “Most graffiti is exceptionally anti-social but when it has racist and fascist overtones it is thoroughly objectionable, and all reasonable people will be appalled and disgusted.

“This type of thing has no place in our community and I hope residents will come forward and report the culprits to the police.

“Otley has a proud record of community spirit and that spirit extends to everyone, irrespective of their race, religion and beliefs. So I hope this is an isolated incident.”

Cllr Colin Campbell (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon), who made sure the city council cleaning team responded urgently to remove the offending message, added: “This is mindless behaviour which can only cause distress to residents and has no place in Otley.”