A Dorset council member is facing demands that he resign after he posted a message on Facebook saying that women workers at a local coffee shop should be beaten because of their tardy service.

Weymouth and Portland Borough councillor Peter Chapman used his page to complain about the service at a branch of Costa Coffee.

"Terminally slow (and bad) service from the bone idle bitches at Costa Dorchester today. They all need a good beating."

Two of his colleagues on the council posted thier responses. Cllr Christine James said: "Meow. Never knew you had it in you Pete."

Cllr Robbie Dunster added: "Costa staff always first class at airports, but then they are all foreign."

Chapman, a Conservative and the council's spokesperson for finance and assets, deleted his Facebook profile after news of his update became public.

He said: "The offending post was taken from a private facebook account which has always been set to friends only access.

"The post was a few weeks old and causing no offence to anyone it being read only by people who knew me well enough to take it in context and with the humour intended.

"Very recently I accepted a friends request from a lib dem councillor who I've known for several years and been on very good terms with and tuesday [5 March] I get a call from the Echo saying they have a screen print of the post.

"Draw your own conclusions as to how it got there.

"The story is just a political plant by some very grubby local politicians. Nobody in their right mind thinks I go around advocating corporal punishment for bad service."

Women's Action Network Dorset chair Toni McKee told the Dorest Echo: "This is absolutely terrible and there are no grounds for even joking about something like that. He should step down.

"We are working so hard to break the perception that domestic violence is acceptable so it is shocking that someone in a public position should say something like this."

Gemma Stephenson, the assistant manager at the Costa in question, added: "It's not a nice thing for anyone to say, and definitely not something a councillor should be saying."

A spokesman for Weymouth & Portland Borough Council declined to comment.