CALLS have been growing for a council leader accused of hypocrisy to resign after warning people to stay local – while she was on holiday in the Maldives.

The leader of Richmondshire District Council, Councillor Angie Dale – who represents the authority's biggest umbrella group Richmondshire Together – has been condemned after being quoted in a press release urging people to stay local amid surging Covid-19 cases.

It was sent out while Cllr Dale, who represents Colburn – one of the worst affected areas – was on holiday with her family 5,000 miles away on the island of Kudahuvadhoo in the Maldives.

Fellow councillor Leslie Rowe, who represents the Green Party, said he was "gobsmacked" when he received a copy of the the press release and believes Cllr Dale should reconsider her position on the council.

He said: “Whether her holiday was necessary, I can’t see that it was necessary to pontificate and put out a press release telling people to stay at home.

"It is a classic case of do as I say and not what I do, and you can’t have that in someone in a position of responsibility. I do think after this, Cllr Dale should reconsider her position on the council and resign.”

Critical messages were also left on social media.

One person said: “Do the honourable thing and resign,” while another added: “She’s away on holiday but tells other people to say at home. Yes she should resign but guess what?”

It’s believed Cllr Dale went to the Maldives in early January from Manchester airport, before the current lockdown, and is due back shortly.

The press release issued on Friday by Richmondshire and Craven Councils, along with North Yorkshire police, urged ‘Stay Home and Stay Local, don’t travel to exercise’.

Cllr Dale is quoted as saying: “The number of Covid cases is rising dramatically every day and we are told we haven’t reached the peak yet, so it is vitally important that people heed the stay local message.

"Our beautiful Dales will still be here to visit when this pandemic is over, please do not make unnecessary journeys now and exercise close to your home.”

Cllr Dale did not respond to requests for a comment. Richmondshire Council and Richmond MP Rishi Sunak declined to comment.