A TORY councillor and former parliamentary candidate from Calne was today suspended from the party amid allegations she sent a racist e-mail.

Cllr Ellenor Bland was reported to race relations watchdogs by the Liberal Democrats who said the "offensive'' message showed there were still "deeply unpleasant elements'' in David Cameron's Conservative party.

The message sent from Ms Bland's email address included a poem about Pakistani immigrants coming to the UK to claim benefits, along with a cartoon of the white cliffs of Dover with the words 'p*** off - we're full' scrawled across them.

Ms Bland, who represents the Conservatives on Calne Town Council and was the party's candidate in Swansea East in last year's general election, denied having sent the message, saying someone else had sent it from her address.

But she insisted it was "light-hearted" and that no offence was meant by it.

A senior Conservative official said Ms Bland had been suspended from the Tories' election candidate list and from the party pending a full investigation of the allegations surrounding the email.

Ms Bland, who runs a clothes shop in Wootton Bassett and lives in the village of Quemerford and has been a Calne town councillor since 2003.

She said: "I haven't sent anything out which I'm accused of sending.

"I didn't. Someone else did. My email address is something that's used by my husband too. It's not my personal email account.

"From what I remember of it, it was a very light-hearted poem.

"If anyone wants to accuse someone of being racist, we have Asian friends and we work well together and all accept each other's different ways.

"People crack jokes about things. If somebody wants to go overboard, anybody who wants to take it that way, I apologise for it in advance, but at the same time no offence was meant."

It later emerged the poem had appeared on Conservative higher education spokesman Boris Johnson's website.

But Mr Johnson said it had been posted on a message board by one of the visitors to his site and he had no idea that it was there.

"It's an utterly dreadful poem and I condemn it unreservedly,'' said Mr Johnson.

"I had absolutely no knowledge it was on my website.

"Hundreds of people post material into the site and this one slipped through the net."