High Peak Conservatives have issued a statement distancing themselves from ‘hateful and Islamophobic’ remarks purported to have been made by a former party member.
It comes after an open letter was sent to High Peak Conservative parliamentary candidate Robert Largan by campaign group High Hopes for High Peak, raising concerns over social media posts alleged to have been made by a former Tory, Clive Johnson.
In response, Mr Largan said he utterly condemned those comments “without reservation” and called for the person responsible to be suspended from the Conservative Party.
“Racism has no place in our society. I will always call racism out,” he added.
High Peak Conservative Association later stated Mr Johnson had not been a member of the party “for some time”.
The association said in a statement: “Firstly, we would like to fully condemn and distance ourselves from the hateful and Islamophobic remarks reported to have been made by a Mr Clive Johnson, that have come to light.
“Anti-Muslim hatred has no place in the Conservative Party and no place in a modern and tolerant Britain. As he is not a member of the party, we as an association are limited in the action we can take, but to reiterate that views like those Mr Clive Johnson is alleged to have expressed are unequivocally not welcome in the High Peak Conservative Association.
“If he were a member we would have conducted a thorough, yet responsive investigation and come to a decisive but just decision, in keeping with our commitment to fight and root out all racism from our local party.”
Responding to Mr Largan’s initial condemnation on Twitter, Mr Johnson denied his comments were racist, and confirmed he was not a member of the party.