Tory election candidate suspended over anti-Islam tweets

PUBLISHED: 16:00 29 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:48 30 April 2019

Evan Woolcock.

Evan Woolcock.

BBC

A Portishead Conservative election candidate has been suspended after allegedly describing Islam as an 'evil fascist cult' on social media.

Evan Woolcock, who hopes to win a Portishead Town Council seat in West ward, has been suspended by the Tories after hate-fuelled online posts came to light.

Comments posted on April 20 on a Twitter account carrying his name, which has subsequently been deleted, described Islam as a 'stone age death cult'.

Tweets from the account, which had the handle @OllieSausage, also expressed disgruntlement with the direction of the Conservative Party.

In another post, Mr Woolcock is alleged to have called a Tory MP a 'c***'.

Mr Woolcock's alleged remarks are being investigated by the North Somerset Conservative Association (NSCA), while chairman of the association's Portishead Branch Don Cameron said 'the matter is being treated with great concern'.

An NSCA spokesman said: “Mr Woolcock has been suspended by the Conservative Party.”

The party did not give a reason for the suspension.

But Mr Cameron believes the decision 'was on account of some unacceptable material'.

The elections will be held on Thursday, and Mr Woolcock will remain on the ballot as an independent candidate if he is not reinstated by the party.

On April 20, Mr Woolcock appeared to slam his party.

He said: “I am a party member and also I'm standing in my town council elections and I'm not sure if I'll be voting Tory now or ever.”

The account also took a swipe at the BBC, which was labelled 'leftist drivel', adding: “I stopped paying the licence fee years ago.”

The posts come amid growing concerns of Islamophobia becoming more prevalent in the party, with 14 UK members recently being suspended for allegedly making inappropriate remarks.

Former Tory chairman Sayeeda Warsi has called for an internal inquiry into what she contends is institutional racism within the party.

But James Cleverly, the deputy Tory chairman, has been reported as saying: “We do not accept within the Conservative party Islamophobia, racism, anti-semitism.

“When it is presented to us either locally or centrally, we take immediate action.”

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