A town mayor in County Durham has resigned after he prompted "a torrent of abuse online" for voicing "Biblical views". Richard Smith said it was with "deep and profound sadness" that he was stepping down as Chair of Ferryhill Council, a decision which followed "weeks of adverse publicity" concerning opinions he voiced about homosexuality and Islam. In a letter, he said: "To be denied the opportunity to hold personal views was never my expectation when I undertook the role of Town Mayor, and it is a matter of sincere regret to me that those personal views have been so tragically and outrageously twisted and reported on in order to discredit both myself and my faith.