A PROTEST is taking place in Bolton town centre today following comments made by a councillor in a Facebook post.

Stand Up To Racism will be holding the protest later this afternoon to call for the resignation of Cllr Bob Allen, who was suspended by the Conservative Party following comments he made online.

Cllr Allen said in his post: "Blame the 48,000 illegal immigrants, the BAME community and the morons that never obey the rules" in response to the latest lockdown in Greater Manchester.

He has since apologised for any offence caused, although he has stood by his remarks.

Stand Up To Racism Bolton said in a statement: "All communities in Bolton have stood together and helped those who were in need during this very difficult and traumatic period.

"The comments on the lockdown in the North made by Councillor Bob Allen are disgusting.

"Mosques, Temples and Churches have delivered food and given support to anyone who needed it during the lockdown, and continue to provide support to those who are vulnerable."

Cllr Allen said: “A disproportionate number of BAME people have been fined for breaking lockdown rules, suggesting that some members of that community have inadvertently helped to spread the virus.

"There are of course many others who have flouted the rules but the BAME group have been particularly identified in the national media.

"I blame lots of people and groups for our current crisis and I remain convinced that from the outset the pandemic could have been better managed. For example it is unbelievable that throughout April and May we continued to allow dozens of incoming flights every day from countries badly affected by the virus. PHE, whose job is to protect us from such infections, failed to give correct advice to the government and failed abysmally to provide sufficient PPE.”

A convenor for Stand Up To Racism stressed that the event would be safe and socially distant, with face masks mandatory.

The protest is taking place in Town Hall Square today at 5.45pm.