A CITY councillor who shared ‘abhorrent’ Facebook posts has resigned the Labour Party whip.

Ben Lloyd-Shogbesan was only re-elected on May 4 as Labour councillor for Lye Valley. He had held the seat for the party since 2010. 

Just hours before he regained his seat, party bosses were made aware of what council leader Susan Brown labelled ‘extremely disappointing’ posts and he deleted his Facebook profile. 

Yesterday, at the first city council meeting since the election, chief executive Gordon Mitchell announced Mr Lloyd-Shogbesan had resigned the Labour whip ahead of a standards committee hearing. 

That will investigate whether he broke council rules and any possible sanctions.

As reported in the Oxford Mail today, Mr Lloyd-Shogbesan shared a post which compared Israel to Nazi Germany, while another appeared to denounce gay marriage as a ‘perversion’. 

Another denied the existence of cancer and dismissed it as a ‘business’; a fourth appeared to praise former Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi. 

City leaders of the Liberal Democrats, Greens and Conservatives have all called for Mr Lloyd-Shogbesan’s resignation. 

Lib Dem leader Andrew Gant said Oxford residents would find the posts ‘utterly abhorrent’. 

The Labour Party confirmed on Monday that a complaint has been made and it is investigating. 

It is understood Dr Gant and the Green Party’s Craig Simmons would have raised objections to Mr Lloyd-Shogbesan sitting on council committees representing Labour if he had not resigned the party’s whip.

A Labour councillor will now take his place on the general purposes licensing committee, east area planning committee and scrutiny committee which he had initially be nominated to.

There will be a vacancy on those committees until the Labour group puts forward its preferred replacement. 

Late on Monday, Mr Lloyd-Shogbesan sent an email to all city councillors apologising for his conduct. 

Addressed ‘Regret and apologies’, it said: “I regret the repostings and would like to offer my profound apologies to colleagues on Oxford City Council for any hurt or discomfort they may have endured.

“I have deleted my Facebook account and the offensive posts.

“I am also making overtures to the synagogue and the Jewish community and other groups and communities affected in order to engage in positive and meaningful discussions about concerns and how best to redress the situation going forward.”

He added: “I am not and have never been anti-Semitic or racist or homophobic in all my life.

I have worked hard to challenge injustice and discrimination and promote equality and diversity at all times and would continue to do so.

“If any member would like to talk about it, please let me know. Thank you.” 

He did not attend the city council’s meeting yesterday afternoon.

A Labour Party press release on behalf of Mr Lloyd-Shogbesan and council leader Susan Brown was released last Monday, May 7. 

It apologised for his actions but did not say what offensive material the posts contained.