Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson is urging Cllr Jim Sheridan to resign and stand down as a councillor.

It comes hours after Sheridan was suspended from the Labour Party after complaints of a post he published on Facebook contained material of an anti-Semitic nature.

The former MP, 65 said he no longer respected the Jewish community because of their work with ‘Blairite plotters’.

Sheridan is one of four councillors for the Houston, Crosslee and Linwood ward.

Cllr Iain Nicolson also welcomed the Labour party’s ‘swift action’ with Sheridan’s suspension.

Iain Nicolson, said: “When I first saw the comments I couldn’t believe what he was saying. To smear an entire community both past and present, to say he has lost ‘all empathy’ for them is utterly deplorable.

“This has cast a dark shadow over everyone who works hard to make Renfrewshire a great place to live and work. We are an inclusive community and we distance ourselves completely from his comments.

“I welcome the Labour party’s swift action on this and would urge Cllr Sheridan to resign from the council. I fail to see how he can fulfil his oath to represent all his constituents regardless of their religious and political beliefs. On a personal point, my family are not unique, they have many different ancestry including German Jewish so his comments are personally abhorrent.

“Cllr Sheridan’s thinking clearly belongs in the dark ages and it’s that thinking that quickly leads to action and to humanitarian disasters that humankind have witnessed too often through persecution and wars based on singling out the differences between people on culture and religious beliefs.”

A Labour party spokesman, said: “The Labour party takes all complaints of anti-Semitism extremely seriously and we are committed to challenging and campaigning against it in all its forms.

“All complaints about anti-Semitism are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken.”

Sheridan has since removed the post from Facebook and has not commented on social media since. Renfrewshire News has been unable to reach Mr Sheridan for comment.

Jim Sheridan’s post in full: “For all my adult life I have had the utmost respect and empathy for the Jewish community and their historic suffering.

“No longer due to what they and their Blairite plotters are doing to my party and the long-suffering people of Britain who need a radical Labour government.”