A COUNCILLOR accused of tweeting Islamophobic comments has been given an indefinite suspension from Dudley's Tory group.

Disgraced councillor Colin Elcock, who represents the Norton ward in Stourbridge on Dudley Council, has had the Conservative whip withdrawn over claims he posted tweets saying Islam was "domination not integration", and asking whether people in Iran were "all on the dole".

He was also accused of making a sexist comment when responding to another tweet featuring a picture of woman’s buttocks.

Within days of the tweets coming to light, the leader of Dudley Council and Dudley Conservatives - Councillor Patrick Harley - confirmed cllr Elcock had been given a 21-day suspension and today (Monday January 27) he said the suspension would be "indefinite".

He told the News: "With the group together on Saturday we issued an indefinite suspension - and the decision was final. He's done the right thing and given a very public apology but he won't be sitting with the Conservative whip for the foreseeable future.

"We're living in a different world and we have to watch what we say and do. His comments were inappropriate."

Cllr Elcock will now serve as an independent councillor which means Dudley Council now comprises 36 Labour councillors, 35 Tory members and one independent but cllr Harley said he was not worried about the balance of power.

He said it would be up to cllr Elcock if he decided to try to rejoin the party in the future after a suitable period of time and he added: "Police are not pursuing it. I think we should all just move on now."

Mark Binnersley, co-chairman of Dudley Green Party, which submitted an official complaint about the councillor's remarks on Twitter, said: "It's unsurprising and slightly disappointing that Mr Elcock has been given an indefinite suspension. It suggests the Conservative Party isn't serious about tackling Islamophobia and sexism, as in theory he may be allowed to represent the party again one day.

"We also think the electorate of Norton ward should be able to have a say on Mr Elcock's future if he is allowed to remain as a councillor, as many voters will find his comments abhorrent and unacceptable in 2020. It's time for a different kind of politics."

The offending tweets, which were posted earlier this month, have since been deleted and cllr Elcock appears to have shut down his Twitter account and he said: “I am deeply sorry to anyone who has been affected or offended by my actions. I will abide by the group’s decision.” 

He still, however, faces possible disciplinary action by Dudley Council's standards board for allegedly breaching of the authority’s code of conduct.

Two complaints relating to comments made on Twitter are currently being investigated by the council's monitoring officer.