WINCHESTER'S most senior Tory has promised to expel a city councillor if she is found guilty of Islamophobia.

As previously reported, Cllr Judith Clementson is currently under investigation by the national Conservative party.

The Denmead representative is being linked to the Twitter account '@Clem205', which has been actively posting since 2013.

Now, Cllr Caroline Horrill, Tory group leader on the city council, has said: "Cllr Clementson has been suspended by the party and had the whip removed by the Conservative Group on Winchester City Council because of these very serious allegations. This means she does not represent the party on the city council and she does not sit on any committees as a Conservative.

Hampshire Chronicle:

"Unfortunately, coronavirus has led to an understandable delay in dealing with the allegations. However, I have pressed the party to conclude its investigation as soon as possible and I have been assured this will be the case.

"In the meantime, as far as the Conservative Group is concerned, Cllr Clementson is an independent city councillor. It is important not to prejudge the investigation by the party.

"However, we believe no-one – regardless of race, religion, gender, sexuality or any other such difference – should be subjected to any abuse. It’s absolutely clear to me that anyone who is found to have done so will never be a member of the group again and would be expelled from the party."

Hampshire Chronicle:

Former city councillor Ian Tait has resigned from the party over the issue.

He was due to stand at the upcoming local elections. He plans to set up a business with prominent city restaurateur Shah Kayum, who is a Muslim.

In an email thread seen by the Chronicle, he said: "I will review my membership as and when this grotesque issue is settled.

"Being a rabid Zionist and Jewish supporter I had nothing but contempt for Labour when they could not route out the cancer of antisemitism from their midst. We are no better, sad really.

"I remain a one-nation, left of centre, hugely pro-European, Disraeli supporting inclusive Tory.

"Best regards and best of luck , you will need it."

In the same string of emails, Cllr Stephen Godfrey told Cllr Horrill how to respond to the Chronicle's request for comment.