A Church of England vicar has apologised after suggesting that the country's appreciation of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore was an example of the "cult of white British nationalism".
Rev Jarel Robinson-Brown, said in a tweet that he would "offer prayers" for Captain Tom's "kind and generous soul", but that he rejected the idea of a "national clap" in celebration of the 100-year-old's extraordinary life.
"The cult of Captain Tom is a cult of White British Nationalism," he tweeted. "I will offer prayers for the repose of his kind and generous soul, but I will not be joining the “National Clap.”
After receiving swift backlash for his comments, Rev Robinson-Brown - an associate chaplain at King's College London - deleted the tweet and issued an apology.
"I offer an unreserved apology for the insensitive timing and content of my tweet regarding the clap for Captain Tom," he wrote.
In a statement, the Diocese of London called Robinson-Brown's comments "unacceptable, insensitive and ill-judged".
“The fact that he immediately removed his tweet and subsequently apologised does not undo the hurt he has caused, not least to Captain Tom’s family," the diocese said, noting that, “nor do Jarel’s actions justify the racist abuse he is now receiving."
The diocese said that it would be opening a formal investigation into the reverend's comments.
"A review is under way, led by the Archdeacon of London," it said. "As a Church we expect clergy to ensure that all online activity is in line with the Church of England’s social media guidelines and built on truth, kindness and sensitivity to others."
After tweeting that he had now read and signed the Church of England's 'Digital Charter', which outlines a desire make social media and the web a positive place, Rev Robinson-Brown appeared to delete his Twitter account.