Tory parliamentary candidate Ellie Bland has been suspended from the Conservative Party for circulating an e-mail to fellow councillors containing a racist poem.

Coun Bland, who is hoping to stand in the next general election, sent the e-mail, complete with pictures, to Coun Tony Trotman, Coun John Ireland, Coun Roy Golding and Coun Mercy Baggs, among others.

The e-mail referrred to illegal immigrants coming to Britain and claiming benefits and free health care before "forcing the white man out''.

At the top of the e-mail Calne town councullor Bland wrote: "Oh yes!'' She has refused calls for her to resign and asked the Liberal democrats for an apology for making her a target for ant-racists.

Ed Davey, MP for Kingston and Surbiton, wrote to Conservative leader David Cameron and Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, asking them to investigate the matter. The matter was raised with Mr Davey by members of the North Wiltshire Liberal Democrats.

District council leader Coun Carol O'Gorman said: "The content made me feel very unformortable, it was most distasteful.''

A Conservative spokesman said the party was looking into Mr Davey's claims and that Ms Bland would be suspended until investigations were completed. He added: "We dissociate ourselves entirely from the sentiments expressed in this poem.".

Coun Bland said of her suspension and the complaints made about her: "I think this is disgusting, but it is what I would expect of the Lib Dems.

"I will be demanding a formal public apology from the Liberal Democrats as now I find myself a target from people who believe me to be a racist.

"I am not a racist person, I am not a bigot, I have friends from many culturally diverse backgrounds and I embrace anyone of any ethnic origin who can bring a skill to this country.

"I am a firm supporter of David Cameron's policies, I welcome anyone into this county and the only thing I am against is when anyone of any origin commits a crime.

"If I wasn't a supporter of David Cameron I certainly would not be a conservative.

"This e-mail has been circulating for years and I forwarded it in a harmless, not racist or malicious, way and it has come back and blown up in my face.

"The e-mail is a joke email which I have seen on occasion in the past, this one had something added to it and illustrations, I didn't write it I just forwarded it.

"What I cannot understand is why the Liberal Democrats would waste their time and energy trying to expose something out of nothing, this is another case of the lib dems making a mountain out of a molehill.

"I demand an apology from them for not only disturbing my day but for trying to make me out as being something I am not."

"I shall not be resigning, I have done an awful lot for the community and I am not about to stop because this issue has been blown out of proportion, why should I resign?''

The poem had also appeared on Conservative higher education spokesman Boris Johnson's website.

But the prominent Tory MP said that it had been posted on a message board by one of the visitors to his site and he had no idea that it was there. "It's an utterly dreadful poem and I condemn it unreservedly," said Mr Johnson.

"I had absolutely no knowledge it was on my website. "Hundreds of people post material into the site and this one slipped through the net."

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