A Conservative councillor has been suspended after comparing black Labour MP David Lammy to the Ku Klux Klan.
David Burgess-Joyce, a Wirral councillor, sparked shock and anger when he made the comments on Twitter.
Mr Lammy had been tweeting about racist comments made by US President Donald Trump, when he told female congresswomen to 'go back home'.
The Labour MP was complaining that Tory leadership hopefuls Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt had failed to condemn the words used by the President as racist.
Come back again with a real apology Councillor @BurgessJoyce1. This is pathetic. Your attempts to normalise racism and whitewash the murders and lynchings of black men and women are despicable. Enjoy your suspension. The Conservatives should make it permanent. pic.twitter.com/RmJWtXtsT1— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) July 17, 2019
But, in response, the councillor Cllr Burgess-Joyce, who represents Greasby, Frankby and Irby tweeted: "Mr Lammy, if Mr Trump is racist then he's no doubt learnt it from you.
He added: that Mr Lammy had done "more damage to community cohesion than any KKK member".
The Wirral councillor later apologised for the "unacceptable analogy".
He also claimed he had apologised to the Labour MP and said his words were “crass” and “inappropriate”.
The online message attracted more than 1,000 comments from Twitter users before being deleted.
24 hours later and it is deeply disappointing that neither Boris Johnson nor Jeremy Hunt have condemned Donald Trump's vicious racist tirade on four Congresswomen. Our next PM would rather hang onto hard-right support than stand up to vile bigotry. https://t.co/gbzUulQ25A— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) July 15, 2019
His Twitter address appeared to have been subsequently taken down.
The leader of the council's Tory group said Mr Burgess-Joyce would be suspended while complaints were investigated.
Wirral Council Conservative leader Ian Lewis said: "I have this morning suspended Councillor David Burgess-Joyce from the Conservative Group.
"The party has a rigorous code of conduct for elected representatives and the complaints that have been made will now be investigated."
It is not the first time that Mr Burgess-Joyce has been in trouble.
When he was a candidate to become Merseyside's police and crime commissioner, it emerged he had been sacked by the former Serious and Organised Crime Agency (Soca), in 2013 for gross misconduct.
He denied the allegations which centred on an expenses claim and said he was the victim of a smear campaign.