SECURITY had to be ramped up at a fun day after new political party Farnworth and Kearsley First posted a message telling council leader Linda Thomas she was ‘not welcome’.

The town hall chief was invited to the Farnworth Family Fun Day in the Park, held to celebrate the life of the town’s suffragist Mary Barnes and 100 years of women having the vote.

She was selected to presented the Mary Barnes Inspiring Woman of Farnworth Award but her presence at the event, was not welcomed by the borough’s fledgling party.

Paul Heslop, election officer took to Facebook, to make plain his party’s feelings

The post, on the Farnworth Kearsley First, page said: “Cllr Linda Thomas how dare you show your face in our people’s park and try to look good? On your watch as deputy leader of the council you have overseen the closure of our market, disabled centre and even destroyed the flower beds in our park.” It continued: “How you have the audacity to even show your face in our town when you have been party to so much damage is astonishing.”

Labour councillor Jean Gillies said the post was “really bad for a non-political event.” She said: “As a result of that it ended up costing the borough because we had to get police protection in for Linda Thomas and the borough solicitor, Helen Gorman, had to go along.

The resources could have been better spent elsewhere, it was absolutely ridiculous, and it did put a dampener on it.”

But Mr Heslop was unrepentant over the comment.

He said: “There was nothing suggested in that post that police were warranted or needed they interpreted it like that way.

“I stand by the statement, the fact it she has done so much damage to our towns as deputy leader, I stick by that.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate for her to come here and try to seek some credit.”

And he claimed Cllr Gillies was “trying to stir up nonsense.”

He said: “She has deliberately done that and is trying to make out Farnworth and Kearsley and not mainstream.”

The party co-founder added he believed Mary Barnes descendants should have presented the award in place of Cllr Thomas.