A TEST Valley councillor has been elected as the borough’s new mayor just months after he was suspended by the Tories after posting an allegedly racist post on social media.

Councillor Martin Hatley has been elected as the borough’s new mayor, taking over former leader, Ian Carr MBE, who was first elected on the council in 1987.

The news of Cllr Hartley’s position as Mayor comes after he posted the ‘Learn Japanese in 5 Minutes’ guide on his personal Facebook profile, just a day before Prime Minister Theresa May was to meet Japan’s leader Shinzo Abe.

The post, sent to the Local Democracy Reporting Service by several residents, Anglicised the Asian country’s language, in what Cllr Hatley described as “in the style of humour of The Two Ronnies, or the Carry On films”.

After he was contacted by the reporting service. Mayor Cllr Hatley removed the post, released a public apology.

He said: “I am the least racist person I know.” and promised to be “hyper cautious” before posting on social media in the future.

Mayor councillor Hatley said: “I really do appreciate and value this great honour bestowed upon me and I would like to thank, most sincerely, councillors Bailey and Dowden for their kind words in support of my nomination. My wife, Jo and I, have thoroughly enjoyed the last year supporting Ian and Beryl Carr as their deputy mayor and mayoress and we treasure the warm welcome.”