COUNCILLORS have slammed negative press coverage of the borough by the national press.

The comments come following a story published by the Mail Online and The Sun Online about a white motorbike instructor who claimed a garage was ‘racist’ after he was allegedly told to remove his open face helmet - while a woman in a burka filled up next to him.

According to the reports, Liam Bradley, 48, claimed he was filling up his bike at the Shell garage at the Three Arches Spar shop in Feniscowles, on Wednesday, when a message appeared on the LCD screen demanding he remove his helmet.

He posted his frustration on Facebook saying: “Bikes avoid Three Arches Shell filling station in Blackburn.

“Told to remove my helmet when filling mine and students bikes. I was wearing a flip front white helmet in the up position and my company name all over mine and students hi viz jackets.

“Meanwhile an Asian wearing a Burka was allowed to full up her car. Racism at work in Britain. Please share this. Don’t let them get away.”

Blackburn with Darwen Council leader Mohammed Khan has claimed the national press are ‘targeting’ Blackburn following the recent negative coverage the town received from BBC’s Panorama claiming society is ‘divided’.

He said: “I think the national press are targeting Blackburn. I do not know why.

“This seems to have been highlighted because of the Boris Johnson and remarks about headscarves. This does not help bringing the community together.

“We are working very hard to make sure we have a cohesive community but unfortunately this is not helpful at all.”

Cllr Hussain Akhtar, who has lived in Blackburn for nearly 50 years, dismissed the negative coverage of the town and described Blackburn as a ‘peaceful’ place.

He said: “When we do something bad then we should be criticised because it’s education and and people learn from their mistakes but in this instance I think the coverage that the national process have given is unfair.”

The garage declined to comment about the incident when approached by the Lancashire Telegraph.