A CONSERVATIVE Bury councillor has had the whip removed by the party after using "antisemitic" language during a job interview.

Cllr Bob Caserta, who represents Pilkington Park in Whitefield, appeared before a Standards Sub-Committee last month, where he was found to have committed four breaches of the Code of Conduct for Councillors and Other Voting Representatives.

The reprimand follows an incident concerning discriminatory questions and remarks made by Cllr Caserta during the interview process to recruit a senior officer within Bury Council on July 14 last year.

It is understood that Cllr Caserta referred to litter "grot spots" in Sedgley and remarked that it would be difficult communicating with residents "unless you are able to speak Hebrew."

Cllr Caserta was found to have "used inappropriate language that was disrespectful and wholly inappropriate" and which "may affect Bury Council's ability to recruit high calibre candidates in the future".

Christian Wakeford MP for Bury South and Cllr Nicholas Jones, Leader of Bury Conservatives, have now issued a joint statement condemning Cllr Caserta's language and confirming that he has had the whip removed pending an investigation.

They said: "Since being elected as MP for Bury South and Conservative Group Leader on Bury Council, we have always enjoyed an excellent relationship with the Jewish community.

"We consider antisemitism in all its forms abhorrent and will continue to call it out wherever it is found, including within our own Party.

"Cllr Caserta’s comments were at best inappropriate and deeply offensive and at worst could be construed as antisemitic, so it is right that prompt action is taken. We have acted as a matter of urgency and immediately removed the whip from Cllr Caserta pending a full investigation into this matter."