A parliamentary candidate has joined calls for a Tory councillor to resign in a row over the manner of his apology for “Islamophobic” comments made online.

Labour candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green, Faiza Shaheen, said Waltham Forest councillor John Moss had “little respect for the mosque and Muslim community in the area he is meant to represent”.

Cllr Moss, was suspended from the Conservative Party in June for responding to a tweet in 2015 about journalist Douglas Murray winning an ‘Islamophobe of the Year’ spoof award, writing: “An ‘Islamophobe’ is by definition somebody frightened of Muslims. Maybe we should nominate every 11 year old girl?”

The Waltham Forest Council of Mosques labelled the tweet as "Islamophobic".

Cllr Moss apologised for the tweet and promised to visit the Imam at Chingford Mosque to offer a “personal apology”.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Cllr John Moss said Chingford Mosque's Imam was not interested in meeting with him.

However, the councillor for Larkswood ward, instead sent a local Muslim Conservative Party member to the mosque on his behalf.

Cllr Moss said: “Through a local Conservative Party member in Chingford, I sought a meeting with the South Chingford Islamic Society. They told him, ‘we are not interested in meeting with John Moss.’

“I was however able to secure a meeting with representatives of the Woodford Mosque, to whom I apologised and we had a very constructive conversation.”

Chingford Mosque confirmed it had been contacted on behalf of Cllr Moss but did not accept the apology as it was not given in person.

Faiza Shaheen said she was ‘troubled’ “that an unapologetic Islamophobe” was leading Iain Duncan Smith’s campaign against her.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Faiza Shaheen joined calls for Cllr Moss to resign.

She added: “If John Moss remains in position, it again shows the Conservative Party is happy to tolerate blatant religious prejudice and racism within its ranks.”

Mr Duncan Smith, Conservative candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green, said John Moss was one of many volunteers on his campaign

The MP who has held the seat since 1992, added: “He does not run the local campaign and he is not the agent for the campaign.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

MP Iain Duncan Smith said the party had dealt with the comments made by Cllr Moss.

"Unlike the Labour Party who have failed on many occasions to investigate cases of anti-Semitism in their party. The Conservative Party moved quickly to suspend John Moss and the complaint was assessed by an independent panel and the recommendations from that have been followed and put in place.”

Cllr Moss’ suspension from the Conservative Party was lifted after one-month following “diversity and anti-bias” training.