Essex

Essex EDL meeting Tory member reinstated

A Conservative councillor suspended by his local party for attending a meeting of the right-wing English Defence League (EDL) has been reinstated.

Dr Blaine Robin, who sits on Southend Council, said he had made a mistake in attending the meeting last month.

Rochford and Southend East Conservative Association had suspended him pending an inquiry.

It found that his "excellent record" as a party member and councillor showed he was not racist or extremist in any way.

The inquiry added that he had worked to achieve a better life for all the residents of his Kursaal ward, regardless of race, colour, or religion.

Dr Robin sparked controversy when he attended the EDL meeting in Southend saying he wanted to find out more about its views.

Dr Robin said his presence was an "error of judgement", and apologised to his party.

Richard Howitt, the region's Labour Euro MP, said local Tories had let the councillor off the hook and handed the EDL a propaganda victory.

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