The photograph showing Martyn Cleasby (at back) on the campaign trail in Mansfield
The photograph showing Martyn Cleasby (at back) on the campaign trail in Mansfield

The Conservative candidate for Newark has played down a Twitter post showing him in the same picture as the town’s former deputy mayor who resigned over a racism row.

In a picture on Mr Robert Jenrick’s official Twitter page, he is seen on the campaign trail in Mansfield.

With Mr Jenrick are the Tory’s Mansfield candidate, Mr Ben Bradley, the Sherwood candidate, Mr Mark Spencer, and the party chairman, Mr Patrick McLoughlin.

In the background is former Newark deputy mayor Mr Martyn Cleasby, who resigned the position in January and left the Conservative Party after controversy over comments he made on Facebook.

Despite leaving the party and continuing on Newark Town Council as an independent, Mr Cleasby is seen in the picture holding a Conservative placard.

“I have no control over who turns up in Mansfield Market Place,” Mr Jenrick said.

“He (Martyn Cleasby) made comments on social media that were unacceptable and I think he acknowledged that.

“I made my thoughts known to the local party at the time.”

'Racism has no place in society'

Mr Cleasby resigned in January after allegations he made racist and inappropriate comments about Gina Miller, who brought a legal challenge against the Government over its authority to implement Brexit, and who is originally from Guyana, and Labour’s shadow Home Secretary MP Diane Abbott.

Mr Cleasby was not available for comment.

Mr Jenrick recently criticised a student who introduced Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at his party’s local election launch in Newark over historic racist and anti-Semitic tweets.

He also criticised Newark Labour candidate Chantal Lee for using a swear word in a Tweet about the EU referendum result in June last year.

Chantal Lee said: “The comments made by Martyn Cleasby were wholly unacceptable.

“Racism has no place in society.”