A Tory councillor in Fylde, near Blackpool, has been suspended for six months after more than 1,000 gay porn images were found on his work laptop.

Simon Renwick claims someone else malicously downloaded the images, but Fylde council decided to suspend him for not securing the computer properly, the Blackpool Gazette reports.

Mr Renwick, the council’s former head of policy, admitted being “lax” over password safety and claimed that someone else carried out a “revenge attack” on him.

He admitted that he had not been in possession of the laptop for around two weeks after leaving the home he shared with his former wife.

Independent investigators said he was “unlikely to be responsible for the pornographic material appearing on the laptop” but concluded that he had breached the council’s Code of Conduct by not protecting the computer properly.

It could not be determined who had downloaded the images, the council heard.

Mr Renwick’s six-month suspension is the harshest punishment the council can impose.

He did not attend today’s hearing but in a letter sent to the council, he said he had suffered “serious difficulties in his mental health” since the case began.

He added: “Despite the pressure and the unbearable strain on my health over this, I have learnt lessons. I have become very acutely aware of password and computer security. A hard won lesson.”