WYRE Forest politicians have urged council bosses in Worcestershire to take severe action against a senior councillor who backed Boris Johnson’s controversial comments about burqas on Twitter.

Councillor Ken Pollock sparked fury when he repeated comments made by the former Foreign Secretary stating women who wore the niqab looked like “letter boxes” before adding “bank robbers would find the burka a good disguise”.

He initially posted on Friday (August 10) using the “I Am Spartacus” line from the classic Kirk Douglas movie as an act of solidarity with Mr Johnson.

But he now faces a Worcestershire County Council investigation after a formal complaint was lodged by an outraged member of public.

His comments were also branded “racist” by Wyre Forest Muslim Liberal Democrat councillor Shazu Miah while Wyre Forest Labour’s Stephen Brown said his comments were “disgraceful”.

When contacted by The Shuttle, Councillor Pollock said it would be inappropriate to comment further but during his Twitter exchanges, he strongly refuted accusations of racism.

He said he had concerns about cultural pressures placed on Muslim women and defended the right to free speech and to make jokes.

But Councillor Miah said: “I am disappointed by Boris Johnson’s and Councillor Pollock’s comments.

“I and members of the Muslim community here in Wyre Forest consider this to be a racist attack.

“The comments are divisive and serve only to give ammunition to Islamophobes. I have received reports of racist name calling and spitting since Boris Johnson’s comments and Councillor Pollock has added fuel to these racists.

“Muslim women in our community have said that they are frightened of what may happen when they are out.

“The District Council and County Council last month passed a Liberal Democrat and Independent motion, unanimously, relating to anti-Semitism because of the level racism targeted to the Jewish Community.

“Councillor Pollock’s comments flies in the face of the sentiments of that motion. To suggest and to agree that women who wear burqa’s or any other clothing look like bank robbers is racist in my view and I consider that the county council should review Councillor Pollock’s suitability to be on the Council.

“Councillor Pollock has probably never met any Muslim women and is in no position to say whether they are under any pressure of wearing the Burqa.”

Mr Brown said: “Absolutely disgraceful comment from a serving Tory Cabinet member, revealing that here in Worcestershire, the local Tories are also part of the Islamophobia problem within the whole party.

“And despite the criticism he has received and the devastating impact his comments will have, we are still waiting for an apology.”

During a heated direct Twitter change between the two where Councillor Pollock continued to defend his tweets, Mr Brown told him: “When in a deep hole, and you want to get out, stop digging. Good advice for life that.”

A spokesman for Worcestershire County Council said: "We can confirm that a complaint has been received, which will be reviewed in line with our procedures."