Conservatives bar council candidates over Facebook posts

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Image caption Colin Barton and Robin Popley will no longer be able to stand as Conservative candidates

Two Conservative council candidates have been barred from standing for the party in upcoming elections over alleged racist Facebook posts.

Colin Barton, standing in Bassetlaw, Nottinghamshire, was expelled from the party for sharing Islamophobic memes.

Robin Popley, in Charnwood, Leicestershire, was suspended after endorsing posts, one of which criticised the Duchess of Sussex.

Neither have responded to requests for comment.

Mr Barton's case was highlighted by BBC Radio Nottingham.

Mr Barton, who was standing for Worksop South East in next week's borough council elections, shared various Facebook posts, one of which implied two headscarf-wearing women would be stoned for kissing.

He also shared another meme which linked the sexual exploitation of white girls with Labour seeking "Pakistani Muslim votes".

Mr Popley, who was standing as a candidate for Shepshed East, was suspended following a report in The Guardian newspaper.

It said he had "liked" a Facebook post that said Prince Harry's choice of wife was "way off", describing the duchess as "a divorcee of mixed race 'actress' who has shown her ass on HBO".

The article also said Mr Popley had "loved" a post which said the appointment of Home Secretary Sajid Javid was "aimed at securing the ethnic vote" and a "purely cynical tactic" from Prime Minister Theresa May.

A Conservative Party spokesperson confirmed Mr Barton had been expelled from the party and Mr Popley suspended.

Ballot papers have already been printed which include both men as Conservative candidates and local returning officers said the deadline for withdrawals had passed.

The Electoral Commission has been asked to clarify the men's position.

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