London: A local Tory councillor has been suspended for posting a comment on Facebook comparing Muslim children wearing burqas to garbage bags.
Chris Joannides, the Conservative councillor for Enfield, in north London, has denied being Islamophobic and defended his comments as ``blokeish banter``, reports the Daily Mail.
Joannides posted a photo showing a woman and child dressed in burqas standing next to two bin bags, and wrote underneath: "I saw her standing there and I told her she had three beautiful children. She didn`t have to get all p****d off and threaten me. It was an honest mistake!"
Joannides, who is of Greek-Cypriot heritage, insisted he took his duties seriously despite the ``blokeish banter`` written on his Facebook page. He denied being an Islamophobic. He said he would always do his best for all residents of Enfield irrespective of their political leanings, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or cultural background.
The relevant posts have all now been deleted from Facebook, but Joannides could face disciplinary action from the council after officials were shown a print-out of the comments.
He has also been suspended from the local Conservative group, while a complaint about the posts was made to the Metropolitan Police.