A controversial Tory councillor has been suspended after apparently sending a “racist” tweet and suggesting a Liverpool abortion clinic is a form of crime prevention.
Bob Frost, councillor for north Deal in Dover, Kent, appeared to joke on Twitter that he had “bought two of the staff” at a restaurant attached to the city’s Slavery Museum.
The International Slavery Museum in Liverpool highlights the role that the city played in the transatlantic slave trade in the 18th century.
A spokesman for the Conservative party told HuffPost UK: “Councillor Bob Frost has been suspended and is being investigated centrally.”
This is the councillor’s third suspension from the party in recent years.
The comments came amid a Twitter feud with his Labour opponent, Charlotte Cornell, who posted she was in Liverpool for the Labour Party conference over the weekend. Cornell had posted a selfie with part of the city’s skyline in the backdrop.
In a reply, a tweet from Frost’s account replied: “The only city I know where the local Marie Stopes clinic is funded by the council as part of their crime prevention program.”
The organisation provides abortion and contraception services in clinics around the world.
In a tweet directed at Dover District Council and the Prime Minister, Cornell called for his resignation.
Later on, a second inflammatory tweet appeared which read: “Bollocks. BTW don’t miss the Tate and the Slavery Museum. I visited in Jan when went to see Ken Dodd. Excellent service in restaurant attached. So good I bought two of the staff”.
A number of Twitter users condemned the tweet, branding it “disgusting” and “unacceptable”.
Frost was approached by HuffPost UK but declined to comment.
Cornell told Kent Online: “This is racist and wholly unacceptable. I would be very surprised indeed if the current Tory leader of the council, Cllr Keith Morris, didn’t suspend the party whip from this councillor; not to do so would be to condone Mr Frost’s remarks.”
In an earlier statement, Dover District Council said: “The council can only take action on a complaint about any councillor when discharging their functions as a councillor.
“The law does not allow the council to regulate what a person may do in his or her private capacity.
“There is no mechanism for the council to initiate a complaint under the code of conduct.
“Where a complaint is received it has to be dealt with in accordance with the council’s adopted arrangements for dealing with such complaints.
“We would not be able to comment on whether or not a complaint has been made”.
This is not Frost’s first run-in with controversy. He was suspended in 2015 after tweeting that a Big Issue seller should “f**k off back to Romania”, which he has denied.
His comments were dubbed “an incitement to racial hatred” by Labour Councillor Mike Eddy.
He was also suspended in 2011 and warned about future conduct after referring to demonstrators in the 2011 London riots as “bunnies of the woodland variety rather than the jungle” on Facebook.