A Labour councillor in Rochdale, who denies accusations of homophobia, has been suspended by his party.

Farooq Ahmed, who is responsible for finance at Rochdale Council, was questioned by police officers over an incident which took place on Thursday 23 January.

He denies using a homophobic slur during a row with fellow Labour Councillor Neil Emmott.

Mr Ahmed has now asked the Labour group to suspend him until an inquiry is concluded.

Manchester Evening News reports Mr Ahmed said: “I have asked the local Labour group to suspend me until this matter is cleared up.

“I don’t want what is happening to me to reflect on my party or my colleagues.”

“I categorically deny any accusation of homophobia and I look forward to continuing to serve the people of the borough, which is what I have done for the last 25 years as a volunteer and councillor.”

Councillor Peter Joinson, Labour Group Chief Whip, said: “We have accepted Councillor Ahmed’s recommendation to suspended him.”

Greater Manchester Police confirmed Mr Ahmed has been interviewed under caution and has been reported for summons to court for a Section 4 Public Order offence.

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