A young Conservative student leader has been thrown out of the party and suspended from his university after making homophobic and anti-Semitic remarks on Facebook.
Fergus Bowman, 22, a second-year politics and religion student at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), had earlier resigned as chairman of the student union’s Conservative Future branch.
Conservative Future is an under-30s organisation that plays an active role in recruiting young people into the party.
Mr Bowman was listed on Facebook as leader of a group called “Homos burn in hell.”
Their homepage showed a member of the Klu Klux Klan standing in front of a burning cross and near it were the words “Everyone knows homosexuality is against God’s wishes.”
Bowman had posted comments on the relating homosexuality to the HIV virus and claiming he hates Jews.
Another read: “By calling them gays, we are destroying a word from the English language.”
As well as expelling him from the party, a Conservative spokesman told the BBC:
“Fergus Bowman’s comments are appalling and we condemn them absolutely.
“There’s no place for homophobia in today’s Britain. The Conservative party actively support gay rights.”
Local Conservative MP Ben Wallace, who represents Lancaster and Wyre, said he did not know Bowman.
Chris Lowden, president of the UCLan students union, also condemned Bowman’s actions, saying: “We are committed to equal opportunities. Fergus’s comments were in clear breach of our constitution.
“We cannot and will not tolerate such material coming out from one of our members.”
Bowman is suspended from UCLan and banned from their student union while an internal investigation is carried out. This is expected to take 2 to 3 weeks.
Mr Bowman apologised to student paper, Pluto, claiming: “The comments were made as a private joke among colleagues in a group. It was not our intention to joke about gay people.
“I regret that the comments have caused offence and I deeply apologise to anyone who has been offended by them. I do not advocate homophobia.”