A CONTROVERSIAL Tory councillor in Renfrewshire has been removed from one of his first posts after just 48 hours following a threatened boycott by trade unions.

Neill Graham, who last month apologised for circulating material from Protestant pride groups on Facebook, was axed from authority’s main staff liaison forum.

Mr Graham, 26, was appointed to the Joint Consultative Board for non-teaching staff, which handles workforce complaints and equality issues, as the sole Tory member on Tuesday.

However Unison, Unite and GMB, which represent around 5000 of the council’s non-teaching staff, yesterday told the council they would boycott the forum unless Mr Graham was replaced.

Mr Graham, who represents Paisley Northeast and Ralston, was out by the end of the day.

The supermarket manager was a controversial figure before the local election on May 4.

In 2014, he asked people to ‘like’ a photograph on Facebook of the Parachute Regiment on Bloody Sunday, when soldiers shot 13 people dead on a civil march in Derry in 1972.

The image was from the “Proud to be a Protestant banter group” and Mr Graham’s post said: “How many likes for the Paras?”

The 2010 Saville inquiry concluded the killings were both "unjustified" and "unjustifiable".

In 2013, Mr Graham also shared posts from the “Protestant coalition” Facebook group critical of former South African president Nelson Mandela, and joked about attending a conference of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party while on a holiday in Greece.

Mr Graham’s former address and current phone number appear in a leaked database of British National Party members from 2008, although he strongly denies BNP membership.

Mark Ferguson of Unison Renfrewshire branch, which led the effort to have Mr Graham replaced, welcomed the decision, but said the councillor remained contentious.

He said: “It was the right decision to take for that particular board, but there’s a wider issue for the council with someone who has expressed these views.

“They should be reminded of the council’s policies on equality, diversity and respect.”

A council spokesman said: “Nominations for membership of Council boards and committees is a matter for the parties and is currently being finalised. It is our understanding the appointment of Councillor Graham to the Joint Consultative Board (Non-Teaching) has been changed."