Councillor Elfan Ap Rees suspended after slavery tweets

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Elfan Ap Rees
Image caption,
Elfan Ap Rees denied he had been racist and said he "stated a historical fact"

A Conservative parish councillor accused of being a "despicable racist" has been suspended by the party.

Elfan Ap Rees tweeted that most black slaves had "a better life than staying in Africa" and Bristol should "get over" its historical links to slavery.

The Locking parish councillor was responding to a tweet about a BBC programme exploring Bristol's past.

A Conservative party spokesman said: "Mr Ap Rees has been suspended, pending the outcome of an investigation."

In his tweets posted in May, Mr Ap Rees, who has declined to comment since, denied he was being racist and said he "stated a historical fact".

"It's history and most slaves were sold by their fellow African tribes to visiting ships and had a better life than staying in Africa. Some cruelty, yes, but there was worse among the White poor living in slum conditions of the time," his tweet said.

In response the Weston Labour party tweeted he was a "despicable racist" and spoke of its relief he was no longer a North Somerset councillor.

Mr Ap Rees wrote the tweet, which has since been removed, in response to one about the BBC Two programme A House Through Time, which explored Bristol's slave trade past.

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