TORY MP Andrew Stephenson has defended the reinstatement of a councillor suspended for sharing a 'racist' facebook post giving his party a majority on a council.

He was quizzed over Earby's Cllr Rosemary Carroll's restoration after 50 protesters gathered outside Nelson Town Hall for the annual meeting of Pendle Council which confirmed the Conservative control of the borough

On BBC TV he said: "There was a full investigation. She was suspended from the Conservative Party for three months and then underwent diversity training. In think that's pretty on par with what most parties do.

"The reason we took control of the council in the local elections is we gained two seats. We would have taken control of the council whether we brought her back or not. We have the Mayor. We have the casting vote.

"She was thoroughly investigated. The party chairman looked into those investigations and is satisfied that all due process was followed"

Mr Stephenson said to deny politicians who accidentally shared a Facebook post 'redemption would be a slippery slope.

Worsley Labour MP Barbara Keeley said: "All of sudden when it seemed clear they could take control, she was back in the fold. I think it sends out totally the wrong message."

Mr Stephenson added: "I think our treatment of Rosemary Carroll on Pendle Council has been very similar to the way the Labour Party and other parties have dealt with similar incidents in their parties. If not we have treated more harshly than other parties have dealt with their members."