A LABOUR councillor is said to have issued a formal apology after labelling three UKIP members ‘racists’.

Cllr Sue Graham, the former executive member for regeneration on Burnley Council, was ordered to make the concession after a cross-party standards hearing.

She is currently serving as the vice-chairman of the audit and standards committee.

An investigation took place after the comment was made during discussions regarding how an administration would be formed for the borough earlier this year.

Labour had lost its majority at the May elections and an executive was eventually formed comprised of members of the Burnley and Padiham Independents Party, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives.

The arrangement was supported by then-members of the UK Independence Party and The Greens, with Cllr Charlie Briggs stepping in for a second stint as council leader.

An audit and standards sub-committee hearing was convened in September, chaired by Cllr Tony Martin, to consider the conduct of Cllr Graham, who represents the borough’s Queensgate ward, towards the UKIP Cllrs Tom Commis, Allan Hosker and Peter Gill.

The panel, also including Cllrs Shah Hussain, Margaret Lishman, Mark Payne and John Harbour, ruled Cllr Graham breached the council's code of conduct on respect but had not brought herself or the council into disrepute.

Cllr Graham was asked to make an apology to the three councillors, now all members of the Brexit Party, at a December full council meeting. But according to council minutes she was unavailable and has since made a written apology.