A top police trainer has apologised for suggesting PN MPs should be pelted with eggs and tomatoes on social media, moments after the Home Affairs Minister asked him to delete the Facebook post.

John Charles Ellul, the director of studies at the Academy for Disciplined Forces, told Times of Malta his comment was "inappropriate".

In the Facebook post Ellul said: "are there any more eggs and tomatoes that can be hurled at the PN as they exit parliament?”

The post - which was not shared publicly - drew condemnation from the Nationalist Party as well as rule of law group Repubblika.

Both organisations described it as “unacceptable” and unbecoming of someone responsible for training police officers, soldiers and members of other uniformed corps.

In an apology on Facebook, Ellul said: “I apologise for a post I uploaded here earlier.

"I am sorry if I gave the impression that we do not need to be respectful and tolerant towards each other despite not agreeing on everything. Once again, I apologise,” he wrote.

The apology was issued after Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri asked Ellul to delete the offensive post and apologise.

A Home Affairs Ministry spokesperson told Times of Malta: “it is very clear that such comments will not be tolerated. Minister Camilleri consistently insists on the importance that everyone is respectful towards others”.

Ellul is the brother of junior minister and government whip Andy Ellul.

He is a former senior police inspector and forensics expert who also serves as a visiting lecturer within the Department of Criminology at the University of Malta. 

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