A NON-binary teddy bear in Darlington has gone viral and divided opinion on Twitter.

Actor and political activist, Laurence Fox, found the social media post distasteful and he let his feelings on this controversial bear be known.

Cyndi Hughes has been Mayor of Darlington since May 2021 and now that her year is over, she has left a teddy bear, Mayor-Bear, in the Mayor’s Parlour.

Mayor-Bear is a non-binary bear and a note attached mentions how Mayor-Bear looks forward to welcoming children and attending teddy bears’ picnics.

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The Northern Echo: Cllr. Hughes has left a lasting legacy in the Mayor's Parlour, following her year as Mayor of Darlington. Picture: CYNDI HUGHES Cllr. Hughes has left a lasting legacy in the Mayor's Parlour, following her year as Mayor of Darlington. Picture: CYNDI HUGHES

Mayor-Bear’s message reads as follows: “Hi, my name is Mayor-Bear. I am a non-binary bear. Do you know what non-binary means? Some bears are boys and some bears are girls.  I am non-binary, this means that I am neither a boy bear, nor a girl bear. I am just a bear. I love my new home in the Mayor’s Parlour. I look forward to welcoming children and attending Teddy Bears’ Picnics for years to come. With love, Mayor-Bear xx”

The Northern Echo: Mayor-Bear's message. Picture: CYNDI HUGHESMayor-Bear's message. Picture: CYNDI HUGHES

Laurence Fox tweeted: “This need to stop. We should be protecting and guiding our children, not confusing and grooming them. There are two sexes. Male and female. Don’t let your kids go to a picnic with this creepy mayor bear.”

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Other Twitter users didn't find the post as controversial as Mr Fox. One Twitter user, going by TravellingMags, said: “Do you realise that this is about a toy bear? Or is it that you want toy bears to have genitals?”

Mrs Hughes said: “I spent a lot of time with children and young people and teddy bears’ picnics and I thought it would be a nice thing for each Mayor to have. Mayor-Bear is made from all-recycled materials and it’s heralding the Platinum Jubilee so I thought it would be a reminder of my year. I want Mayor-Bear to be able to get out there and enjoy the community, like I did.”

The Northern Echo: Cllr. Cyndi Hughes shaved Robert Younger's head to raise money for cancer charity, Maggie's Centres, in December 2021. Picture: ADAM WALKER/ HUBSPOKE MEDIACllr. Cyndi Hughes shaved Robert Younger's head to raise money for cancer charity, Maggie's Centres, in December 2021. Picture: ADAM WALKER/ HUBSPOKE MEDIA

Facebook users were more positive in their response to this new addition to the Mayor’s Parlour, with one Facebook user, Suzy Vaughan saying: “What a lovely idea.”

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