Bar apologises for 'deeply offensive' Jay Slater joke on its Facebook page

A bar's management has apologised after its Facebook account posted a "highly insensitive and deeply offensive" joke about missing British teenager Jay Slater.

The Bees Knees in Accrington, Lancashire, blamed an external social media company for uploading the image, which it said was deleted "instantly".

The venue is a 10-minute drive from Mr Slater's home town of nearby Oswaldtwistle and the 19-year-old is said to have been a customer there in the past.

A senior staff member at the bar said in an initial statement: "We are absolutely disgusted that a post of this nature has made it onto our Facebook pages. As a company we would never support such a distasteful post...

"I fully apologise to all that this has affected."

The venue later said staff had received "completely unacceptable" threatening messages and stressed "nobody within the pub company" had been involved.

"The post that made it onto the page was neither one of the above and was highly insensitive and deeply offensive. As a business we are utterly gobsmacked that this has happened and how somebody could find good humour in a missing boy," it added.

The Bees Knees also said it had donated £1,000 to a GoFundMe page in aid of the missing teenager's family.

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The bar added it had terminated its contract with an online firm it hired three months ago to "improve our social media pages via light-hearted humour, good content and sports talk".

The venue named the company responsible as Affordable Social - which appears to have since deleted its website and Facebook page.

The Bees Knees also posted a screengrab purporting to show a statement from the firm, which said: "An employee posted something that does not reflect our brand standards...

"The employee responsible for this post no longer works for Affordable Social. We sincerely apologise to everyone affected by this incident."

Mr Slater has been missing since Monday 17 June after he disappeared during a holiday in Tenerife.

Spanish police called off their search earlier this week but have kept the investigation open.