guardian.co.uk has its own take on the comparison of Penwortham to Beirut in a blog written by Adam Gabbatt which without a doubt deserves a LLB Certificate:

Beirut, Baltimore, Gotham City … some conurbations immediately conjure up images of violence and depravity. And now it seems we should add the small suburb of Penwortham, near Preston, to that list.

Not only that, Adam adds a quaint photo to his blog:

guardian.co.uk: Trouble in Beirut - can Penwortham really be as bad? Photograph: Wael Hamzeh/EPA

guardian.co.uk: Trouble in Beirut - can Penwortham really be as bad? Photograph: Wael Hamzeh/EPA

Thankfully, there are people with some sense of reality:

From socialiststeve:

Has Mayor Hothershall actually been to Beirut? It has one of the lowest crime rates in the Middle East (which generally has lower crime rates than Europe) and is an incrediably safe place.

Aside from the foreign-originating war in 2006, Beirut has been peaceful and safe since 1991. I can’t say that about Preston.

He should do some research before he starts slagging places off.

From Chrisdepole:

What an insult to Beirut, I was there in September on business, the people are wonderfully hospitable. Me and some of my collegues ended up in a bit of a glitzy bar called the Sky Bar (bit too poncy for my tastes but still fun). At the end of the evening one of my Lebanese collegues asked if I could help, as some very drunk English girl had been abandoned by her English girl friends (equally drunk). She didnt have passport, money, or knew which hotel she was in. In the UK, she’d have been dumped on the streets and been prey to the lowlifes that wander around at night. In Beirut, the locals where more concerned about ensuring she got back to her hotel safely. A Lebanese girl eventually offered to drive her around hotels (in her Range Rover Sport – but hey thats Beirut for you)until she recognised which one she was in – and eventually they got her back to her hotel.

Can you imagine that happening in the UK, anyone owning an RR-Sport would be too up their own arse to help a Drunken foreigner.

So said Mayor needs to write an apology – what an insult.

From cruyffliverpool:

Absoloutely terrible article, truly terrible.

Adam Gabbatt, have you ever even been to Penewortham? Stop spouting nonsensical garbage, you actual cretin

Thank you sane people of this world.

Actually, since I’ve already sent Mayor Coun Jim Hothersall a certificate, I will now be sending one to Adam Gabbatt. Hopefully, both men will get the point.