UPDATE: Calderdale councillor to face email inquiry

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A councillor at the centre of a row over free speech is to be investigated by Calderdale Council’s standards committee.

Roger Taylor also faces a probe by the Conservative Party.

The Northowram and Shelf councillor heard calls for him to resign at the council’s monthly meeting and Conservative group leader Stephen Baines was asked to suspend him.

Councillor Taylor, one of the longest serving members of the council, refused to comment during the meeting about emails he sent to the civil liberties group, JUST West Yorkshire, about the Hillsborough disaster and Muslim terrorists.

The Mayor of Calderdale, Coun John Hardy, said the issues raised would be considered by the Conservative Party in line with its rules on good conduct.

He said it would also be discussed by the standards committee, which is made up of councillors and independent members, although a date has still to be fixed.

Councillor Nader Fekri (Lab, Calder) called on Coun Taylor to resign for promoting racial hatred and for Conservatives to denounce him.

“This time he has overstepped the boundary between free speech and defamation, and leapt right into the relams of hate speech,” he said.

Councillor Faisal Shoukat (Lab, Park) said Coun Taylor had been deeply insulting to the Muslim community and he challenged him to substantiate his claims.

Councillor Colin Stout (Ind, Brighouse) said he should be suspended for undermining efforts to promote equality and racial harmony in Calderdale.

Emails received by Just since August 2011 from Coun Taylor are alleged to include: “Most acts of terrorism are committed by Muslims.”

Councillor Taylor told the Courier he had been receiving regular email statements from JUST and he had replied privately with no third-party involved.