A Conservative councillor who compared a black MP’s record to the Ku Klux Klan has been suspended.
David Burgess-Joyce said in a tweet that Tottenham’s Labour MP David Lammy had done “more damage to community cohesion than any KKK member”.
The Wirral councillor later apologised for the “unacceptable analogy”.
Mr Lammy said the apology was “pathetic” and called for the party to remove the councillor permanently.
The leader of the council’s Tory group said Mr Burgess-Joyce would remain suspended while complaints were investigated.
Mr Burgess-Joyce on Tuesday quoted a tweet from Mr Lammy about US President Donald Trump and appeared to accuse him of racism and “virtue signalling” before making the comment about the white supremacist group.
‘Crass and inappropriate’
The message attracted more than 1,000 comments before being deleted.
Mr Burgess-Joyce later apologised on Twitter to those he had “inadvertently offended”.
He told the BBC he was “disappointed” to be suspended but was “apologetic beyond belief”.
“I have actually apologised to Mr Lammy because I did use words that were crass and inappropriate,” he added.
“I accept what I said was probably very badly worded but it was never meant to offend anyone.”
Wirral Council Conservative leader Ian Lewis said: “I have this morning suspended Councillor David Burgess-Joyce from the Conservative Group.
“The party has a rigorous code of conduct for elected representatives and the complaints that have been made will now be investigated.”
In 2016, it emerged that Mr Burgess-Joyce had been sacked by the the former Serious and Organised Crime Agency for misconduct.