The prospective Tory candidate caught up in a racism row in Sandwell insists that he has done nothing wrong. But he admits signing nomination papers for the BNP in 2008.
Tony Roper unsuccessfully complained to the standards board after Labour councillor Derek Rowley accused him of being a racist – a result which has almost certainly cost him his hopes of standing in the Princes End ward in the forthcoming local elections.
Roper denies the claim that he once signed the nomination forms for National Front candidate John Salvage, and refutes the suggestion that he made any racist reference to Sandwell’s deputy mayor Amadul Haque in a row over Xmas lights.
“I did say he was the wrong colour, but that was a reference to his political beliefs” Roper said.
And he added: “I am not a racist. I have served on many committees and worked with every colour under the sun.”
He did, however, admit signing nomination papers for a BNP candidate in 2008, a decision which cost him a place on the board of governors at the Alexander School in Tipton.
“I signed the papers but I did no canvassing, no leafleting…I could chop my hand off now, but I did it because I wanted Labour out. They’ve ruined this town [Great Bridge].”
Roper accused Cllr Rowley of being a “bully boy” and said he would be complaining to the ombudsman, after the standards board failed to call him to make a personal representation – relying instead on written evidence.