A WYCHAVON district councillor and former Mayor of Evesham has voluntarily withdrawn from the Conservative group following controversial social media posts.

Mark Goodge voluntarily stepped down today pending an investigation into complaints made against him.

A Facebook profile which appears to be that of Cllr Goodge posted comments which seem to refer to Rolf Harris, a convicted paedophile, on a thread about Christmas songs which included one of Harris’ tracks.

The comment reads: "He isn't a convicted paedophile. There is no such offence. He was convicted of indecent assault of a couple of teenagers, and acquitted of several other charges. He was sentenced to five years and nine months. That is not a particularly severe sentence. You would get more for GBH or a bank robbery. You can't rewrite history and pretend he didn't have a successful career, of which the song in this poll is just one aspect."

Leader of Wychavon District Council Bradley Thomas said: "Mark Goodge has rightly removed himself from the Conservative group on Wychavon District Council following comments made on Facebook. This will be dealt with in accordance with Conservative party procedures.”

When asked about stepping down, Cllr Goodge said: "I volunteered to stand down from the group whilst investigations are launched. I am aware a complaint has been made, but I don't yet know what they refer to.

“I am confident things will be sorted out in the end. I will continue to do all my usual duties as a councillor and am prepared to stand down from the party group until this is all sorted.

“I don't want to make it more awkward than it needs to be."