LAST year’s Mayor of Pendle has been suspended by the Conservative Party over a ‘highly-offensive and racist’ post she shared on social media.

Earby councillor Rosemary Carroll posted the alleged ‘joke’ on her Facebook account which offended users.

She has said had intended to delete the post not share it, and had no intention of standing down as a councillor 'at the moment'.

She apologised to anyone she offended.

The row blew up after angry Facebook users contacted the Labour leader of borough, Cllr Mohammed Iqbal after seeing Cllr Carroll's post

He wrote to Pendle Council's corporate director and monitoring officer Philip Mousdale asking if the post breached the code of conduct set out for councillors.

Cllr Carrol, whose term as Pendle’s ‘First Citizen’ ended in May, was yesterday immediately suspended from the Tory Party and the post was removed from her Facebook account.

Cllr Iqbal, who has called for her to be expelled permanently from the Conservatives, said: "The post was appalling.

"This was not political correctness. It would have been totally unacceptable if it had been said in a public bar 30 years ago."

Cllr David Whipp, Pendle community safety boss and Craven ward Liberal Democrat representative, said: "She should go.

"There is no place for this sort of disgusting and racist view in the 21st century."

Cllr Iqbal’s letter to Cllr Cooney said: “I am writing to you as leader of the Conservative group regarding the conduct of one of your members.

“As you can see below Cllr Carroll has posted a highly-offensive and racist post on Facebook and I have been contacted by members of the public who share my disgust at such a post.

“I am asking you to immediately suspend Cllr Carroll for such an offensive post, unless you agree with the contents, pending further investigation.”

Cllr Cooney said today: “This morning I was made aware of a racist post, which had been shared on Facebook by one of our councillors, Rosemary Carroll.

“We will not tolerate racism of any form.

"Rosemary Carroll has been suspended from the Conservative Group on Pendle Council and the Conservative Party with immediate effect, pending a full investigation in due course."

He added that no decision on her future in the party or as a councillor could be taken until an investigation had been completed.

Cllr Carroll said: “I would like to make it clear I was not the author of this post and I intended to delete it not share it.

”I am utterly disgusted with myself that I messed up and would like to apologise to anyone whose feelings I offended.

“I am not a racist and have never held racist views.

“At this moment I am not intending to resign from the council and hope this apology will suffice.”

Mr Mousdale said: “I’ve received two formal complaints under the Councillor Code of Conduct relating to a Facebook post shared by Councillor Rosemary Carroll.

“As monitoring officer for the council I’m looking into the complaints."

His disciplinary powers under the Code of Conduct are understood to be limited.

Cllr Iqbal said: "These were disgraceful comments posted by Cllr Carroll and she should be expelled from the Conservative party not just suspended.

"She should not be allowed to continue as a public representative and should resign from the council immediately."

Cllr Whip said: "This was a shocking comment to put on social media and she is clearly not fit to remain a Pendle councillor."