One of the most senior figures in Carlisle United’s supporters’ trust is at the centre of an investigation after appearing to mock the appearance of another fan representative.

Jim Mitchell, who represents CUOSC on one of the boards at Brunton Park, told a fellow supporter: “You’ve had too many pizzas.”

The remark - which Mitchell said was intended as a joke - has been described as “inappropriate and unacceptable” by the club.

Mitchell has also accepted that the comment – made during Tuesday’s fans’ forum – was “insensitive”, and has offered an apology “for any offence caused”.

The situation, though, is not understood to have yet been resolved, with further discussions taking place within CUOSC.

It is also believed the matter has been raised with the Football Supporters’ Association.

The controversy comes at a time that the fans’ trust have been actively campaigning on the subject of diversity and inclusivity at Brunton Park.

It is also in the wake of United being rated the second-best club in the country for “fan engagement”, with the role of their supporters’ trust cited as among the reasons.

It has not yet been confirmed whether Mitchell – who is one of the most public faces of CUOSC, as well as a director of United’s community sports trust – will face any disciplinary procedure.

The comment was made during Tuesday’s forum, which was live-streamed by the club on their YouTube channel and which is still available to view.

It followed a discussion about CUOSC’s role in helping to block “bad investment”, with Mitchell referring to the trust’s part in deterring the club from doing a deal with Syrian businessman Yahya Kirdi. forum moderator, Dan McLennan, who was asking submitted questions on behalf of fans, then quipped: “We could have had some nice half-time pizzas, though…” – a reference to the pizza business once owned by Kirdi, whose talks with the club ended in 2017.

Mitchell replied to MacLennan by saying: “You’ve had too many pizzas…”

The comment appeared to audibly shock some of the other directors and fans who were present at the forum.

No further reference was made to the remark at the time, as the forum continued.

The matter has, though, subsequently been raised with the trust and club, leading CUOSC to issue an apology on Mitchell’s behalf in their weekly briefing to members today.

That reads: “CUOSC 1921 board representative Jim Mitchell made a comment, intended as a joke, during the fans' forum held at Brunton Park on Tuesday evening and streamed live on YouTube.

“Jim accepts the joke was insensitive, with the capacity to offend. As an organisation which stands for inclusivity, CUOSC recognises Jim's words were inappropriate.

“He has apologised unreservedly for any offence caused to the individual concerned.”

CUOSC, approached for further comment by the News & Star, later added: “We are dealing with the matter internally, in line with agreed policy and procedure, and privately and directly with the affected individual.”

The trust added that Mitchell did not want to make any further individual comment beyond the apology he had issued.

Mitchell has been a director of Carlisle United since 2016 through his CUOSC position on the club’s operational board.

And the club also issued a statement to the News & Star condemning the remark, whilst also stressing it was initially a matter for the trust.

Chief executive Nigel Clibbens - who was also on the directors' forum panel alongside Mitchell, club finance director Suzanne Kidd and CUOSC's United Holdings board member Billy Atkinson - said: “The comment that was made in the forum was inappropriate, caused offence and not acceptable.

“No matter the context, it was wrong. That has been made clear.

“We are pleased it has been fully acknowledged straight away and that an unreserved personal and public apology has been made as soon as possible.

“CUOSC are dealing with the matter under their rules, as this is a matter for them in the first instance.

“The club is working hard on fan engagement and will continue to do so.”

Dan MacLennan, who is a CUOSC member, added that he could not currently comment as dialogue was continuing about the matter.

Carlisle United has an equality policy which it states is “fully supported” by all its board members, and is designed to “promote inclusion” and ensure people are “treated fairly and with respect.”

It also states that the club “regards all forms of discriminatory behaviour…unacceptable” and that “appropriate" disciplinary action will be taken against anyone found to have violated its equality policy.

CUOSC’s website, meanwhile, says that the trust is “at liberty” to form a disciplinary committee to consider any member activity which “would adversely affect the reputation of the society”.

The News & Star has also approached the Football Supporters' Association - the umbrella group of which CUOSC is a member - for comment.

CUOSC have 25.4 per cent voting rights in United's Holdings company through their shareholding in the club.