BLACKBURN with Darwen Council has been accused of a ‘whitewash’ over its treatment of the Facebook post by former deputy-leader Andy Kay’s which led to his expulsion from the Labour Party.

A report to next week’s meeting of the borough’s standards committee rules that the allegedly ant-Semitic social media message is not worthy of further sanction or investigation.

Cllr Kay, 73, posted on a 2014 Facebook thread about Israeli bombing in Gaza: ‘The Jewish state has learnt nothing from the Nazis and the Jewish leaders are worse than the Nazis.’

Conservative Cllr Paul Marrow complained to borough chief executive Denise Park that it breached the council code of conduct.

Blackburn South-East ward’s Cllr Kay was expelled by Labour earlier this month. He is appealing.

Julian Arnold, chairman of Blackburn Conservative Association, said: “How can the council decide that a clearly anti-Semitic Facebook post is not serious enough to warrant referral to the standards committee when the Labour Party felt that Andy Kay’s behaviour was serious enough to expel him?

“This is an attempted whitewash and the council has questions to answer.”

Monitoring officer David Fairclough’s report says: “Cllr Kay accepts this was an error in that his words ‘may have been better chosen’.

“On the balance of probabilities, it would be reasonable to conclude that there was no deliberate intention to make an anti-Semitic comment which otherwise would clearly breach the code of conduct.

“The balance of evidence is that although an inappropriate comment this was due to poor wording and poor social media practice as opposed to any underlying 'anti-Semitic` behaviours.

“I consider that there would be no overriding public benefit from carrying out further investigations and that a referral to a sub committee of the standards committee is not required.”

Cllr Phil Riley, deputy leader of the council and Blackburn Labour Party Secretary, said:”This was the decision of the appropriate officers.”

Ms Park said: “In this case the council has followed its process.”

Cllr Kay was not available for comment.