THE Mayor of Salisbury has been expelled from the Conservative Party with immediate effect. 

He has been expelled for sending "offensive and inappropriate comments on WhatsApp and social media", according to a statement released by the Conservative Party. 

UPDATE: Salisbury mayor suspended from party for alleged anti-Semitic messages

Councillor Atiqul Hoque has been a Conservative city councillor for St Edmund’s since 2015, and Mayor since May 2023. He also briefly served as a Wiltshire councillor.  

The nature of the messages has not been disclosed. 

Salisbury Journal: Cllr Atiqul Hoque

A statement given to the Journal said: "The Conservative Party is committed to upholding the values of tolerance, diversity, and respect. It came to our attention that one of our members, Councillor Atiqul Hoque has recently made offensive and inappropriate comments on WhatsApp and social media.

"We take such matters seriously and prioritise the maintenance of high ethical standards and values within our party.

"Upon receiving a formal complaint, our party initiated a thorough investigation, in accordance with our robust complaints process. This process ensures that individuals have the opportunity to present their perspective and allows for a fair and impartial assessment of the situation."

The party added: "Following a careful examination of the evidence, it has been determined that councillor Hoque’s comments are in clear breach of the standards expected from individuals holding public office.

"As a result, the Conservative Party has taken the decision to expel Councillor Atiqul Hoque from the party."

Cllr Hoque, who maintains his innocence, says he has written to the Chairman of the party to offer his resignation - despite having already been expelled - and that he will appeal the decision. 

He also told the Journal that he wishes to continue his work as Mayor, which he will now undertake as an Independent, and to continue "representing the people of Salisbury".