A COUNCILLOR has apologised for using the word “mong” in a message posted on her Twitter site.

Julia Bricknell, a Liberal Democrat councillor for Abingdon Dunmore on the Vale of White Horse District Council, admitted she had been “naive” to use the word.

But a campaign group for the disabled last night said she should have looked it up in the dictionary.

It comes after comedian and star of the sitcom The Office Ricky Gervais was also criticised for using the word last month.

Miss Bricknell tweeted the message to her 43 followers, which include former Oxford West and Abingdon MP Evan Harris, on Saturday.

In the post she said: “Eddie Jordan is a mong.”

Former Formula One boss Mr Jordan analyses Grand Prix races on the BBC.

Last night Miss Bricknell apologised and removed the message, claiming she did not know the true meaning of the word.

Miss Bricknell said: “I have been completely naive and I did not realise what it meant. I apologise to you and anybody that has seen it.

“I genuinely did not know what it meant. It was something I had heard between some friends of mine and thought it meant somebody silly.

“I would never intentionally say something like that.”

Mark Gale, campaigns and policy officer at group for the disabled, Mencap, said: “It is unfortunate an elected representative has chosen to use a term that can be offensive to disabled people. Even when it is not directed at disabled people, language such as this can contribute to a culture where verbal and physical abuse of people with a disability and their families is acceptable.”

Meanwhile, Paul Scarrott, from Oxford disability campaign group My Life My Choice, said it did not matter that she did not know what the word meant.

He said: “It should not let her off the hook. She should have looked it up in the dictionary.”

Miss Bricknell became the youngest person sitting on the council after winning a by-election for her seat in November 2009 aged 21.

Leader of the Conservative-run council, Matthew Barber, said the incident showed public figures should be careful about what they publish online.

Mr Barber added: “I think it goes against what many of their (Lib Dem) supporters might expect of them.

“If she takes it down and apologises I think everyone will understand it was an unfortunate throwaway comment.”