A Conservative councillor who won a seat in last week’s local elections has resigned after retweets from his publicly open social media account shared “abhorrent” and “racist” remarks about Muslims and migrants.

Marco Lorenzini, formerly of Bush Fair ward in Harlow, gained his seat from Labour during the Harlow local elections last week (May 5) by just four votes.

He had the party whip withdrawn and later resigned, according to statements by Harlow Council and Harlow Conservatives.

Harlow Conservatives said they “utterly condemn” the remarks, withdrawing the whip from the councillor and calling on him to resign. A later statement by Harlow Council confirmed Mr Lorenzini had resigned.

The likes and re-tweets of the content which had been made by Mr Lorenzini’s account emerged on Twitter yesterday afternoon, including one referring to a “Muslim invasion” and another saying white people are “the only race you can legally discriminate against”.

Another mocked the recent casting of Ncuti Gatwa, a Black Scottish actor with Rwandan heritage, as the next Doctor Who.

A Harlow Council spokesperson said in a statement: “Marco Lorenzini has resigned as councillor for the Bush Fair Ward with immediate effect.”

A statement shared by Harlow Conservatives on Twitter said: “We utterly condemn these remarks and have removed the whip from this councillor with immediate effect. This means he will sit as an independent councillor.

“These abhorrent views are not the views of the Conservative party and we utterly condemn them. There is no place in our party for such thought and we will never accept it.”

A later tweet from Harlow Conservatives said: “Our group calls unreservedly for the independent councillor to resign with immediate effect.”

A third said: “Following this, we understand this councillor has resigned.”

Sharing the screenshots on Twitter, former Labour leader of the council Mark Ingall said on Mr Lorenzini was “spreading racist hate”.

In a statement, Labour Group leader Chris Vince (Little Parndon and Hare Street) said: “I am disgusted by the views that were shared by the new member for Bush Fair. I know that residents of our inclusive and diverse town will be equally appalled and emphasise these views are not a true reflection of what Harlow stands for.

“I have to question to vetting and selection process used by the local Conservative Party which allowed this to be missed when his Twitter feed is open to the public. They must act to ensure this is not allowed to happen again.

“Politics should be an inclusive place where all members of our community feel safe to contribute. Racism has no place in our society, our town or our council chamber.”

Mr Lorenzini received 678 votes last week in the local election, beating Labour candidate Kay Morrison by just four. His Twitter account has since been deleted.