A FORMER borough councillor has been suspended by the Conservative Party over ‘allegedly racist social media posts’.

Konrad Tapp, who stood for Darwen West in last week’s local elections, shared a clearly-marked English Defence League message attacking the Islamic veil on Facebook.

It said: ‘Respect for Britain: No niqab/burka’ and a picture allegedly of a Muslim on a beach with a poster saying: ‘Respect Ramadan - no bikinis’.

Mr Tapp, who represented Meadowhead on Blackburn with Darwen in two spells between 2007 and the ward’s abolition in boundary changes in May last year, shared the EDL post on June 18, 2017.

It came to light during the election campaign and yesterday a Conservative Central Office spokesman said: “Konrad Tapp has been suspended from the party over allegedly racist social media posts. The Conservative Party does not tolerate any form of racism or discrimination and posts such as these are totally unacceptable.”

The suspension has been backed by Darwen West Labour councillor Brian Taylor and former borough Conservative group leader Cllr Colin Rigby who reprimanded Mr Tapp in 2008 for sending out a ‘rash’ email about migrants.

Mr Tapp, a 75-year-old former policeman from Hartington Road, Darwen, said: “I have no comment to make.”

In 2008 when a Meadowhead Tory councillor he emailed local media with a spoof speech by former Australian Prime Minister John Howard circulating on the internet.

The email, titled ‘Britain needs a leader like this’, said Muslims wanting to live under Sharia law should ‘get out’.

Cllr Rigby said at the time: “I think a little more thought would have helped. It was a little rash to send it out.

“I have talked to him and told him not to say anything more on the subject.”

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Cllr Rigby said yesterday: “It seems Mr Tapp has ignored the advice I gave him in 2008. It was right for the Conservative Party to suspend him.”

Cllr Taylor said: "This is really inexcusable.The post was racism of the worst kind.

“The Conservative Party was absolutely right to suspend him.”

Abdul Hamid Qureshi, chief executive of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, said: “This post was unnecessary on a sensitive subject. The Conservatives clearly have a problem with Islamophobia but internal discipline is a matter for their party.”