A senior councillor has been suspended from the Labour group while a probe takes place into comments he made on Facebook to a Muslim colleague. 

Councillor Peter Barnett, who is also the chairman of the planning committee, swore at Cllr Shabana Dhedhi after she quoted a quote attributed to the Prophet Muhammad during a late-night exchange.

Cllr Dhedhi, using the name Shabana Qadir, posted: “The Prophet (saw) said: ‘A time will come to mankind when man will not care whether what he gets comes from a lawful or an unlawful source’.” 

Mr Barnett responded at around 1am by posting: “What the f*** does that mean”. 

Miss Dhedhi replied by stating she did not expect everyone to understand, but to show respect. 

Mr Barnett responded: “Shame the Prophet can’t speak clearly
“Still he’s always got you to explain.” 

Mr Barnett represents Wood Street ward and has served as a councillor in Waltham Forest since 2006. 

He also sits on the staffing committee. 

A spokesman for the Labour party peviously said the language used during the Facebook conversation is "not condoned" by the Labour group. 

Last Thursday, the Labour group confirmed it had suspended him. 

A spokesman said: “This evening Cllr Peter Barnett was suspended from Waltham Forest Labour group pending the results of an ongoing investigation into a formal complaint made about his conduct."

An online petition calling for him to stand down has attracted around 800 signatures. 

A Leyton woman who spotted the post said she was disgusted by the way the councillor behaved. 

She said: “Waltham Forest is a borough of long standing diversity which has traditionally celebrated its multicultural, multi-faith community. 

“It is therefore distressing to see an experienced local councillor show not only such appalling  disregard for the faith of others but to also belittle and intimidate a young female councillor at the same time.” 

The Facebook exchange involving Cllr Barnett

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