A POLICE probe has been launched into a leaflet posted to homes across Burnley and Pendle which blames Muslims for the heroin trade in Britain.
A British National Party councillor from Pendle and a former Burnley BNP election candidate are named in the leaflet as endorsing the views.
Councillors have called for Coun Brian Norton Parker, a BNP councillor for the Marsden ward in Nelson, to quit.
But both he and John Rowe, a former BNP candidate for Rosegrove with Lowerhouse in Burnley, have spoken out in support of the leaflet.
Colleagues on Pendle Council are now considering reporting Coun Parker to their watchdog, the Standards Board, on suspicion of bringing the authority into disrepute.
Police have confirmed that an investigation has been launched into the leaflets - of which hundreds were delivered to homes - after a number of complaints were lodged with Lancashire
The question of whether the leaflets amount to incitement to religious hatred is now being considered by Crown Prosecution Service lawyers.
Another inquiry looks set to be launched by the Royal British Legion, as the leaflets claim to be a 'Preston Pals' publication.
The Pals represent a Lancashire regiment,the 5th Battalion, which endured heavy casualties in the First World War.
Coun George Adams, chairman of the legion's Nelson and district branch, said he was furious that the organisation's name has been linked to the "racist" flyer.
The Walvderden councillor told a meeting of Pendle Council's Nelson committee: "I am asking if Coun Brian Norton Parker will distance himself from the leaflet as his name is on it."
Insp Russ Procter, of Lancashire Police, who was also in attendance at the meeting, said: "This leaflet has been distributed around Burnley, Pendle and Preston.
"I am also aware that this leaflet has been distributed in the Brentwood Road area and we have had a number of calls about it and we have passed this on to our hate crime unit.
"There is now a file which has been submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service.
"There are a number of residents who have been concerned."
Coun David Foster, Nelson committee chairman, added: "I think it is absolutely appalling that that sort of leaflet is being put out."
But Coun Parker declined to dissociate himself from the leaflet or its contents.
Coun Parker said: "I have been asked to apologise for it but I think that the heroin trade has to be highlighted because it causes so many deaths.
"One person dies every day in Scotland, I have read, because of heroin.
"This is a campaign by my colleague Tony Bamber which I support if it highlights the number of deaths from heroin."
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Rowe, of Cowper Street, Burnley, said: "I do not think that this (leaflet) is unreasonable."
A note on the leaflet says it had been produced by a Tony Bamber of Preston.