A councillor accused of making Islamophobic comments over Twitter claims his comments have been taken out of context.

John Moss, Conservative councillor for Larkswood ward in Waltham Forest, was named in a Buzzfeed article that names several Conservative Party members or politicians as having sent allegedly Islamophobic tweets.

Quoted in the Buzzfeed piece, John Moss tweeted in response to a right-wing journalist winning an ‘Islamophobe of the Year’ award and wrote: “An ‘Islamophobe’ is by definition somebody frightened of Muslims. Maybe we should nominate every 11 year old girl?”

Buzzfeed also quotes Mr Moss as having tweeted: “I reject Islam’s barbarism, its sexism, its racism, its homophobia”, adding: “According to Islam, women are chattels, either to their fathers or husbands. They have no liberty.”

Mr Moss is also said to have repeatedly asked prominent Muslims to “denounce” parts of the Koran.

He wrote: “The ‘moderate’ Muslims need to denounce those bits of the Quran they don’t live by.”

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Cllr Moss sent some of the tweets in 2015.

But Mr Moss said these tweets were taken out of context.

He said he has provided “a full response” to his party and is awaiting the outcome of investigations.

Cllr Alan Siggers, Conservative group leader for Waltham Forest, confirmed Mr Moss has not been suspended from the party and said he had conducted an internal investigation locally, which concluded no further action would be taken.

Mr Siggers said: "What is clear from the tweets in context is that John has passionate beliefs about women’s rights, animal rights and the rights of the LGBT Community, he also believes that if extremism is not challenged it is allowed to grow.

"John has agreed that his belief in the right to free speech needs to be tempered to consider the society in which we now live and that in the future he will, as far as possible, avoid referring to specific religions when supporting those rights and causes he is passionate about.

“John has a particular way of doing things, Labour are clearly desperate to find something to pin to our lot and if they’ve got nothing better to do with their lives then fine.

“There are parts of Islam that John fundamentally disagrees with, the way they kill animals for food for instance, he doesn’t agree with that and he has tweeted as such.

“If those kinds of comments are taken out of context then there’s not much you can do with that.

“We need to deal with the facts, then we shouldn’t go that far wrong.”

But Labour representatives are not impressed.

Faiza Shaheen, Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for the constituency, said: “I’m sickened to read these racist and Islamophobic tweets from a prominent local Conservative councillor. There is no room for racism in our society, let alone from elected officials.

"That there is a mosque in John Moss’s ward makes these comments even more alarming. All forms of racism and religious intolerance have to be fought with all we have. The Chingford community deserves better.”

Mr Siggers explained the tweets were raised with the council’s chief executive, Mark Hynes, as a complaint by the Islamophobia reporting group TellMama in early April.

Mr Hynes then passed the complaint on to Mr Siggers to investigate internally.

Mr Siggers went on: “Myself, the deputy leader and chief whip interviewed John for his side of the story and we were satisfied that he does not have an Islamophobic bone in his body.

“John doesn’t agree with a number of practices from a number of religions, but what he was doing flows from an Edmund Burke quote, that all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

“John feels there are things done in the name of Islam are unacceptable, but what has been left out is that there are also things he doesn’t agree with in Judaism, Catholicism etc. Those things were carefully ignored.”

Mr Siggers explained that, following his investigation, and an independent review Mark Hynes confirmed no further action will be taken with regards to the case.

The Conservative group leader added: “We have addresses this, John has explained himself and I am less than impressed with the Buzzfeed piece which is inaccurate, takes information out of context.

“I’m not stupid, this is more about the problems Labour are having. This is a desperate search to find something that is then taken as evidence of wide-ranging Islamophobia which is wrong. It is stretching the truth."