Tories suspend candidate after 'racist' email

A storm has erupted over an allegedly racist email reportedly sent by a Tory councillor
A storm has erupted over an allegedly racist email reportedly sent by a Tory councillor

The Conservative party has suspended one of its councillors and prospective parliamentary candidates after allegations she sent an "offensive" email.

The Liberal Democrats referred Ellenor Bland to the Commission of Racial Equality (CRE) earlier today, following an email the party claims contained an "inflammatory" poem.

"It is totally unacceptable for elected representatives to be distributing this kind of material," said Liberal Democrat campaigns chairman Ed Davey.

"Racism has absolutely no place in British politics and I am asking the CRE to advise on what further action can be taken."


Mr Davey also wrote to Conservative leader David Cameron and party chairman Francis Maude calling for the Conservatives to take "swift and decisive disciplinary action".

The Conservative party responded promptly, suspending Ms Bland and removing her from the party's candidates list pending a full investigation.

"The Conservative party disassociates itself entirely from the sentiments in this poem," a spokesman told politcs.co.uk.

The poem was also posted on the "blog" section of Boris Johnson's website, who was swift to condemn its content.

"It is an utterly dreadful poem and I condemn it unreservedly. Hundreds of people post material on to the site and I had absolutely no idea it was there," the MP said.

The email contains a poem that appears on a white supremacist website, the Lib Dems said, as well as a picture of the white cliffs of Dover with the words "p*** off, we're full" written on them.

Ms Bland said "nothing malicious" was intended - the email was received "innocently" and "accidentally it went to someone who wasn't meant to receive it", she told BBC News 24.

Ms Bland also said that the message was sent in error by her husband.

"I can apologise to people who feel it is offensive...but I am not the person who sent this off," she added.

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