A CALDERDALE councillor kicked out of the Conservative party over alleged Islamophobia denies he is racist.

Long-serving Shelf councillor Roger Taylor is one of a number of Tories in a dossier of people named as posting anti-Islamic material on social media.

He is cited in an article in The Guardian as questioning why a British Muslim columnist ‘was even in this country?’

“I don’t remember saying this,” Coun Taylor told the Telegraph and Argus. “But if I did, it wouldn’t have been for fun. It would have been for a reason.”

And he says the dossier is ‘down to trolls’ exploiting the election.

Twenty-five sitting and former Conservative councillors have been exposed for posting Islamophobic and racist material on social media, according to a dossier obtained by the Guardian, that intensifies a row over anti-Muslim sentiment in the party.

The article claims that 15 current and 10 former Tory councillors have posted, shared or endorsed Islamophobic or other racist content on Facebook or Twitter and this could increase pressure on Boris Johnson over a pledge to hold an independent inquiry into the issue.

The dossier says Coun Taylor questioned why prominent columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown was in the UK. In response to a post about the journalist hitting back at claims she is anti-British, he wrote: “Why is she even in the country?”

But Coun Taylor said: “I never raise issues on Facebook or Twitter. I don’t recall this at all.

“There are a lot of Muslims where I live. I observe their behaviour. I have Muslim friends and a great deal of admiration for their hard work.

“But I get annoyed at being called Islamophobic. It would not surprise me if these people are being trolled by the Left as there is an election going on. This will be what has prompted this. Otherwise, why not raise these suggestions at the time? Why now?

“It is ridiculous they are able to do this, but they can.”

Coun Taylor said he was suspended by the local Conservative party on Tuesday, via email. He is not suspended as a councillor.

“All I have heard is that someone thinks I am Islamophobic so the Tories play cricket on a rugby pitch,” he said.

Coun Taylor served as a Calderdale councillor from 1992 to 1996 and again from 1998. Now, he doesn’t know if will opt for more. “I will be 65 next and we need young blood,” he said.

Admitting he is ‘robust in his opinions’, Coun Taylor was suspended in 2012 for comments he made about the Hillsborough inquiry.

At that time he said the inquiry was ‘as big a waste of time as the Stephen Lawrence inquiry’.

“I took on an organisation which likes to have a go,” he said. “I said that because I could have written the result of the inquiry before it even started and it was obvious they were going to blame the police. I was not insulting the victims. I have the utmost sympathy for those affected. I simply answered back.”

Coun Taylor said if people have an issue about Islam, ‘come and talk to me’. “I admire hard-working Muslims,” he said. “I have nothing against Islam or Muslims. But we should be able to talk openly about terrorism.”

A regional Conservative Party spokesperson said: “All those found to be Party members have been suspended immediately, pending investigation. The swift action we take on not just anti-Muslim discrimination, but discrimination of any kind is testament to the seriousness with which we take such issues.

“The Conservative Party will never stand by when it comes to prejudice and discrimination of any kind. That’s why we are already establishing the terms of an investigation to make sure that such instances are isolated and robust processes are in place to stamp them out as and when they occur.”

Baroness Warsi of Dewsbury says the Conservative Party has a ‘serious and deep problem with Islamophobia’.

The former party co-chairwoman claimed the party is failing to deal with the problem ‘institutionally’ and accused it of being “dismissive” of the issue four years after problems were first brought to light.

Her comments came as the Conservatives suspended a number of members pending an investigation after the suggestions in the Guardian dossier article.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I’m starting to question just how much needs to come to light before the party finally acknowledge that we have a serious and deep problem with Islamophobia and that institutionally we’re failing to deal with it.”

In a separate case, Naz Shah, Labour's Shadow Equalities Minister, has commented on the resignation of a senior Conservative after a Muslim Tory council candidate faced a "barrage of questioning" over his religion and race.

She said: "This level of racism in the Tory ranks is absolutely terrifying. Muslim people are afraid of what might happen if Boris Johnson's Conservatives win this election.

"Boris Johnson and James Cleverly must immediately investigate and take action against this Conservative Association.

"We have no faith Johnson will do anything. This is a man whose description of Muslim women looking like ‘bank robbers’ and ‘letter boxes’ was linked to a 375% rise in anti-Muslim hate crime, and who leads a Party that polls show has a majority of members who hold Islamophobic views."