A former Evesham town councillor has accused the council of trying to impose censorship after it called for discussions on whether to axe controversial comedian Jim Davidson's upcoming performance at the town hall.

Worcester News revealed on Friday that Evesham councillors are to today discuss the 'suitability' of the 'risqué' performers scheduled stand-up shows after it says concerns were raised over perceived 'racist and sexist' material.

Emma Nishigaki, who left her post as a councillor in December, insisted the council should focus on improving services rather than interfering with what people find funny.

She said: "This type of behaviour of the town council is one of the reasons I felt I could no longer be a councillor.

"The town council has lost its way and needs to concentrate on improving services and not on censuring what people can find entertaining.

"The public opinion is quite clear from the spotted in Evesham group - even if they don’t like Jim Davidson, they think it’s not for the town council to interfere.

"I’ve seen Jim live twice and found him extremely funny and entertaining."

The winner of 2014's Celebrity Big Brother is due to appear at the council-owned venue for two shows on Saturday, March 12 as part of his 'Unlocked' tour, with hundreds of tickets already sold by event organisers Evesham Live.

Councillor for Avon Ward, Tim Haines, has said the registered charity would stand to lose thousands if the performances were cancelled, further revealing there would be an £8,500 fee payable by Evesham Arts Association if the contract is broken, together with an estimated loss of profit of £1,500.

Cllr Haines has also aimed criticism at the statement released by the council on social media, insisting it is 'factually wrong'.

He said: "The statement from the town council is factually wrong with regard to S4A of the Public Order Act 1986, which starts off, 'A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress...'.

"This essential part of the quotation has been deliberately omitted from the statement. 

"Note the phrase 'with intent', a comedian performs with the intent of making people laugh and entertaining them, not with the intent of causing harassment alarm or distress. 

"Also note the word 'insulting' is deliberately omitted from Section 5 of the Public Order Act, which contains many of the same prohibitions, but without the aggravation of 'intent'. 

"The wording was changed after a public campaign by Rowan Atkinson and others for the very reason that it would make many comedians jobs impossible.

"Why quote words from the irrelevant Section 4 out of context, whilst ignoring the fact that the relevant Section 5 is clear this is not an offence?

"I don't know who wrote this, or by what authority they claim to speak on behalf of Evesham Town Council.

"They certainly don't represent my views, and we cannot have anyone making statements which are incorrect, inaccurate or misleading with regard to the law on behalf of Evesham Town Council."

Meanwhile, town councillor Emma Haynes has announced her resignation over the matter.

Speaking on social media, she described the council's public involvement in the saga as 'the last straw'.

The original statement from Evesham Town Council said: "As the provider of a venue for entertainment, the council has a duty to ensure those hiring the hall are not going to use it for any illegal purpose.

"Having received some verbal concerns regarding the material contained in Jim Davidson’s routine it is important the council considers the risk not only to its reputation but also the legal risk of providing the venue having received notice of the potential for a breach of the law."

The council has said it fears some of the former Big Break and The Generation Game star's jokes may breach laws on inciting racial hatred, extinguishing the comedian's right to freedom of expression.

"The Public Order Act 1986 makes it a criminal offence to ‘use threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour that causes, or is likely to cause another person harassment, alarm or distress’," the statement continued.

"This law now includes language likely to incite ‘racial and religious hatred’ in this definition.

"The concerns raised around the appearance of Jim Davidson have been related to his perceived racist and sexist material.

"It is important the council conducts the exercise of considering the risk of allowing divisive material to be performed on its premises and the rights under Article ten of the Human Rights Act.

"The council has suggested a sensible mitigation of this risk may be to include an undertaking in the Terms and Conditions in the use of the Town Hall, not to breach the law in relation to the Public Order Act during the term of the rental and to require hirers to agree to this in advance."

Jim Davidson OBE rose to fame after winning TV talent show New Faces in 1975.

He quickly established himself as one of the top stand-up comedians in the country and was remembered for entertaining the troops in the Falkland Islands.

The funny man was due to perform in Evesham in 2015, but left punters disappointed after cancelling the show just hours before he was set to perform as he was unhappy with the height of the stage.

However, he did return just a month later for the re-arranged show at Evesham Arts Centre.

Throughout his career, Davidson has made jokes about women, ethnic minorities, homosexuals and disabled people in his stand-up act, which has made him a subject of frequent criticism.