A Conservative councillor criticised for making “Islamophobic” comments on Twitter has had his party membership suspended.

Cllr John Moss, of Larkswood ward in Waltham Forest, was slammed for comments made over a number of years online.

Mr Moss said the comments had been taken out of context and an internal investigation led by Waltham Forest’s Conservative group leader Cllr Alan Siggers led to no further action being taken locally.

But he has now issued a formal apology and had his Conservative Party membership suspended following a central investigation.

Tweets sent by Mr Moss included a response to a right-wing journalist winning an ‘Islamophobe of the Year’ award in which he wrote: “An ‘Islamophobe’ is by definition somebody frightened of Muslims. Maybe we should nominate every 11 year old girl?”

Mr Moss also 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.”

The councillor 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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East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Now, following his suspension, Cllr Moss has issued a formal apology for his comments and said his tweets were “disrespectful and inappropriate.”

He said: “The Conservative Party received a complaint on the 15th of May 2019 regarding a number of comments that I had made on Twitter.

“I have always been a passionate campaigner for LGBT and women’s rights and I oppose the exemption granted to religious groups from regulations pertaining to the slaughter of animals. I also oppose genital mutilation and abhor the actions of extremists.

“I accept that on a number of occasions my comments were disrespectful and inappropriate. They were not intended to be malicious, but they were careless. I apologise unreservedly for those comments and have removed them.

“I will be undertaking diversity training and I will be seeking a meeting with the Imam at the mosque in the ward I represent to offer him and his members a personal apology.

“The Conservative Party has suspended my membership and I will not take part in any political activity until my suspension is lifted. The allowance that I receive as a Councillor for that month will be donated to a charity of the Imam’s choosing.”