The British National Party is to review the circumstances surrounding the arrest of a prominent member.
BNP city councillor Steve Batkin, pictured, has been arrested by police investigating a report of domestic violence. Mr Batkin, who is not married, was arrested on Friday night at an undisclosed address in the city and questioned before being released without charge.
Mr Batkin, aged 50, of Galloway Road, Bentilee, represents the Bentilee and Townsend ward on Stoke-on-Trent City Council. He was the first BNP councillor to be elected in the city in 2003, and had previously represented the far-right party in the 2002 mayoral elections, when he finished third. He had served as the party's figurehead in Stoke-on-Trent until 2004.
But he was replaced after making outspoken claims in the media questioning the scale of the Holocaust and predicting that racial tensions in the city would result in a "multi-cultural bloodbath" of violence.
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: "At 10pm on Friday police were called to an address following a report of a domestic incident. As a result of initial investigations, a 50-year-old male was arrested in line with force policy on taking positive action to deal with offences of domestic abuse. After a further investigation that male has been released without charge."
The city council's BNP group leader, councillor Alby Walker, said he was confident Mr Batkin had done nothing wrong. But he said the matter would be looked at by the party leadership. He said: "I think the fact that Steve was released without charge shows there is no foundation to this. But that doesn't mean that the party won't look into it. Steve has given me a full explanation of what happened on Friday and I accept his explanation. I have discussed the matter with our deputy party leader, Simon Darby, who is looking into it, and we will be discussing it with the other group members later in the week."
Stoke-on-Trent City Council declined to the comment on the arrest, saying that it was solely a police matter.
Mr Batkin attended a full council meeting yesterday morning. He sat with other members of his group during a debate on the future size of the authority but following the meeting he was unavailable for comment.