A Conservative councillor accused of threatening someone with an imitation firearm will remain in custody ahead of a trial by jury next month.

Nick Buckmaster appeared at Thames Magistrates’ Court yesterday charged with possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear.

The 50-year-old, of Mount Echo Drive in Chingford, was refused bail.

Conservative group leader Matt Davis said the councillor has had the whip suspended from him.

The Tory group will look to take other appropriate action as events develop, he added.

Cllr Davis refused to comment further.

Mr Buckmaster was elected to represent Larkswood ward in 2006 and re-elected in 2010.

He is due to appear at Snaresbrook Crown Court on February 3.

Armed police officers responded to reports of a fight in progress at around 9.15am on Saturday in College Gardens, Chingford.

Police said reports suggested a man was carrying a gun.

Mr Buckmaster was arrested and an air gun was found at the scene.

It is alleged that he intended to cause a man, Brett Stark, unlawful violence.

He chairs the council's pension fund committee and sits on the finance overview and scrutiny sub-committee.