An ex-Tory member allegedly behind a far-right protest at an MP’s office has been banned from the Conservative Party.
Colin Raine, formerly a member of Bishop Auckland Conservative Association, also made a number of Islamophobic comments online, HuffPost UK revealed last week.
The party has now confirmed that Raine, who previously stood as a council candidate, will not be allowed to rejoin.
Raine wrote on Facebook about “aggressive muzzies” who he claimed were praying in public to “provoke a reaction”.
In the 2017 post, he added: “If it is a fight they want I feel they will soon get one.” He has also called those who back remaining in the European Union “traitors”.
The military veteran is thought to have organised a “Save Brexit” protest outside Labour MP Helen Goodman’s office which included members of the far-right group the Democratic Football Lads Alliance and an English Defence League splinter group known as the North East Infidels.
Goodman said: “At last. I’m glad they have done this but it should not have taken media exposure to achieve it.”
Association chairman Ted Henderson said that Raine was “spoken to about his actions and views” but not expelled. The party instead allowed his membership to expire, as Raine “decided not to apply for renewal”.
The news was followed by renewed calls from the former Tory chairman Baroness Warsi and the campaigning anti-racism organisation Hope Not Hate for Tory chairman Brandon Lewis to launch an independent inquiry into Islamophobia.
A spokesman for Hope Not Hate said: “The Conservatives need to take this issue much more seriously.
“Brandon Lewis should heed Baroness Warsi’s suggestion that an investigation is held into Islamophobia in the party.”
Lewis has been responding on Twitter to a number of separate allegations about Islamophobia related to members or former members online.
A Conservative spokesman said cases are dealt with quickly when they are raised with the party.
He added: “When cases have been reported to CCHQ the party has consistently acted decisively, suspending or expelling those involved and launching an immediate investigation.
“The swift action we take not just on anti-Muslim discrimination, but discrimination of any kind is testament to the seriousness with which we take such issues.”
HuffPost UK has contacted Raine for comment.