'Racism' probe UKIP councillor questioned by police

Eric Kitson Eric Kitson was elected to the Stourport-on-Severn seat earlier this month

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A UKIP councillor who admitted sharing offensive material about Muslims on Facebook has been "voluntarily interviewed", police said.

West Mercia Police said Eric Kitson was questioned over "concerns raised by the public" but has not been arrested.

A computer has been seized and a property in Stourport searched for evidence, a spokesperson said.

Police said a file had been submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service "for their consideration".

UKIP has said that Eric Kitson intends to resign the Stourport-on-Severn seat he won on 2 May.

Worcestershire County Council said it had yet to receive a formal resignation.

Chief executive Trish Haines: "We have contacted Councillor Kitson to arrange an urgent meeting to discuss the allegations about his personal Facebook page.

"Whilst the activity we are aware of pre-dates his election as a county councillor, we are concerned by their apparent content and tone."

'Foolish mistakes'

Mr Kitson has apologised and said he had shared the cartoons and jokes only to show how "disgusting" they were and to get others' views.

He has since closed his Facebook account and said national media attention had made him "really, really ill".

Mike Nattrass, UKIP MEP for the West Midlands, has called for Mr Kitson to be thrown out of the party.

"The stuff that was on his Facebook page is outrageous and I'm calling for him to be rejected from UKIP," he said.

Bill Etheridge, the UKIP chairman for Dudley and Halesowen, said Mr Kitson had made the decision to resign himself, but said he was still being investigated by the party internally.

He said: "The party is totally against intolerance and racism of any sort.

"We hope that now Eric is resigning we can work past this and get back to other issues and that Eric can get out of the spotlight."

He added Mr Kitson had made "some foolish mistakes".

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