AN MP has lodged a formal complaint about a councillor after he made remarks asking whether black-coloured sweets were “still allowed”.

Hannah Bardell, SNP MP for Livingston, has raised concerns about social media posts made by councillor Damian Timson last month with his party, his local authority and standards commissioners.

Timson, the leader of West Lothian Council’s Conservative group, posted an image of a Black Jack sweet on Twitter, writing “Presume these are still allowed, not had for ages ... how good are they?!”

His post came at the peak of the Black Lives Matter protests in the UK, which saw statues of people linked to slavery or oppression of minorities torn down. That came following the wave of uproar in the USA in the wake of several killings of black people by police officers.

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Councillor Timson also liked a tweet describing George Floyd, the black man who died in America while a white police officer knelt on his neck until he stopped breathing, as a “drug-abusing armed robber” who was “off his face on methamphetamines”, encouraging people to “stop making a martyr out of this career criminal”.

Bardell has now written to complain about the councillor’s online comments and behaviour, contacting West Lothian Council, Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw and the Ethical Standards Commissioner.

She told the Scottish Conservative Leader: “ I hope you will agree that racist comments and references like his by an elected representative have absolutely no place in our community or country.

“It beggars belief that an elected representative of West Lothian Council who is the Conservative group leader would make racist jokes and belittle the vital work of the Black Lives Matter campaign.

“ The comments of Damian Timson are grossly offensive to the movement and to those who suffer racial abuse on a daily basis. He must apologise and reflect on his position.”

She added: “I would therefore ask for your comments on this matter, what you as the leader of the Scottish Conservatives have done and are doing to reprimand, educate and hold Mr Timson to account. His behaviour has shamed our community and appropriate action must be taken.”

The MP also wrote to Graham Hope, chief executive of West Lothian Council, saying: “Of further concern was posts that Mr Timson ‘liked’ on Twitter including one asking why we were being ‘subjected’ to George Floyd’s funeral.

“It is clear that Mr Timson holds racist views and is incapable of understanding the impact of the death of George Floyd and what needs to be done to tackle the issues.”

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After The Herald initially reported Mr Timson’s comments, the Tories said he “recognises now that it could have been taken to be in poor taste, and apologises to anyone genuinely offended by the content”.

A spokesman for the Ethical Standards Commissioner said it was legally unable to comment as any complaints received must be treated confidentially “and therefore cannot give any further details at this stage”.

A spokesman for West Lothian Council said: “All complaints regarding elected members are dealt with in accordance with the Code of Conduct for Councillors.

“Compliance with the Code is the personal responsibility of each councillor and is enforced by the Standards Commission for Scotland.”

A Scottish Conservative party spokesman said: “Cllr Timson has apologised for any offence caused by the tweet and the matter is closed.”