LAST year's Mayor of Pendle has been suspended for three months by the Conservative Party for sharing a 'racist' joke on Facebook.

Cllr Pauline McCormick, chairman of Pendle Conservatives, said Earby councillor Rosemary Carroll has been suspended following an investigation.

It comes after Cllr Carroll shared an 'abusive, insultive and racist' post on her Facebook which offended users.

The post, which has since been deleted, compared an Asian person to a dog.

Several contacted the Labour leader of borough, Cllr Mohammed Iqbal.

He wrote to Pendle Council's corporate director and monitoring officer Philip Mousdale asking if the post breached the code of conduct set out for councillors.

He also wrote to the leader of the Conservative group, Cllr Joe Cooney, asking for her suspension.

Cllr Carrol, whose term as Pendle’s ‘First Citizen’ ended in May, was immediately suspended from the Tory Party and the post was removed from her Facebook account.

Now following a meeting on the Conservative Association Executive, which is made up of members from across Pendle, Cllr Carroll has been suspended from the Conservative Party for a minimum period of three months from August 4 this year to November 4.

Seperately, a panel of Pendle Council this evening has also decided to ban Cllr Carroll on the council's committees other than the area committee for 12 months.

While the panel also recommended the full council to censure her, to make a report on the findings of its investigation public and for her to attend training on use of social media.

Cllr McCormick said in a statement: “While the original post wasn’t directly from Rosemary Carroll, the content was abusive, insultive and racist.

"As an association we will not tolerate anything that brings the party into disrepute.

"It is therefore the decision of the Executive that Rosemary Carroll be suspended from the Conservative Party for a period of three months starting from August 4, 2017 up to and including the November 4, 2017.

"Before admittance back into the party, Rosemary Carroll will be required to undergo and pass diversity training as agreed by the Association Chairman.”

The association said they will be making no further comment.