AN Evesham councillor has resigned from the Conservative Group after a controversial retweet using Adolf Hitler to make a joke.

Cllr Matt Snape, Wychavon District Councillor for Evesham South will now serve as an independent candidate until the elections in May 2019.

In the retweet, from Twitter user @BasedTacitus who claims "whites are the oppressed now" in his Twitter biography, a picture of Adolf Hitler is provided with the caption "Have you experienced hate speech?" "Give us a call on nein nein nein."

Cllr Snape told his Facebook followers: "Sadly, my journalism and politics conflicted with each other. That is the only thing I regret. I do not regret supporting the message behind the poor tweet.

"I have resigned from the Conservative Group and will serve my residents until May 2019 as an independent. I will not let this affect my duty as a councillor.

"I will still serve you all as best I can. The only people I apologise to are those who came to campaign for me last year and to my association, who have been nothing but supportive.

"The people of Evesham South will not have to go through another by-election. It is not fair to them and they deserve better from their elected representatives.

"Many of you would have now seen this story. Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone who has come out in support of me since it was published.

"I’d also like to say that, as I said in my statement, I can understand why people would take offence to my RT to start with.

"But the picture is overlooking the message. I am a free speech advocate. As well as being a councillor, I am also a journalist.

"I have reported on victims of left-wing bullying, people who have been made to feel guilty for supporting Brexit, Trump and the Conservatives generally.

"I have reported on events like ‘Kick A Tory Day’ and the vile comments from Labour candidates about Tories that make what I’ve done look mild.

"These are the people whose voices are being ignored. That is why I promoted this tweet from the Based Tacitus account.

"I have even exposed racism in my own party that originated from Southampton Conservatives.

"I have spoken to the person behind the account. They have had to file for police protection from trolls and they have had to suspend their original account.

"They are not a neo-Nazi. Their great-grandparents were persecuted in the 1930s as they were Jewish. I’ve even offered to interview them about the bullying and harassment they have suffered."