A Conservative local election candidate who has been expelled from the party over a series of social media posts has denied he is ‘racist, homophobic and Islamophobic’.
Colin Barton, a candidate for the Worksop South East Ward in Thursday’s Bassetlaw District Council election, is alleged to have shared ‘inappropriate’ memes on Facebook.
A spokesperson for the Conservative Party confirmed on Monday: “Colin Barton has been expelled as a member of the Conservative Party. It was due to inappropriate posts on social media.”
Responding to the decision, Mr Barton told the Guardian: “I have been called racist, homophobic and Islamophobic. My wife is from Sri Lanka, so how can I be a racist?
“They have expelled me from the party. But it is not on headed paper and isn’t signed. I need to find out what’s going on.
“According to the letter I have received I am no longer a candidate and I can’t do anything or say anything.”
Neil Taylor, Returning Officer for Bassetlaw, said the authority was aware of the allegations made against Mr Barton.
“Ballot papers for the Worksop South East Ward in Bassetlaw have already been printed, including postal votes, which have been issued and are currently being returned, all of which show Mr Barton as one of three Conservative candidates,” he said.
“We are yet to have been notified by the candidate of their intentions and have not been contacted by the Conservative Party regarding this matter.
“As the nomination papers submitted were valid on the April 3 deadline, Mr Barton is still eligible for election.”
Mr Taylor added: “At this stage, this is matter for the political party that put forward his nomination to deal with.”
Also standing for election in the Worksop South East Ward on May 2 are: Ethel Boddy (Conservative), Angela Chambers (Conservative), Leon Duveen (Liberal Democrat), Ash Henderson (UKIP), Josie Potts (Labour), John Shephard (Labour) and Clayton Tindle (Labour).