A COUNCILLOR who forwarded racist jokes on his mobile phone has been recommended for “equality and diversity training”.

But Cllr Richard Powell has been cleared of bringing Bournemouth council into disrepute because it could not be proved that he was acting in his official capacity.

The 24-year-old Conservative – who managed the general election campaign of Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns – still faces a probe by the national Conservative Party and the threat of disciplinary action from his fellow Tory councillors.

The Daily Echo revealed earlier this month how Cllr Powell had forwarded a string of racist jokes from his personal phone.

They included jokes about Irish, Indian and Pakistani people. One included the N-word and another used a grossly offensive swear word in connection with Allah.

Cllr Powell, who has since acknowledged the texts were unacceptable and apologised, had his case considered by a sub-committee of the council’s standards board.

A Bournemouth Borough Council spokeswoman said the sub-committee had not found he brought the office of councillor or the council itself into disrepute.

“They have decided that there was insufficient evidence provided in the complaint that Cllr Powell was acting in his official capacity but they have recommended that Cllr Powell should receive training on equality and diversity because it’s important that members are aware of the implications of such actions,” she added.

Cllr Powell said in a statement that he was pleased the sub-committee had reported so quickly.

“Although they have decided to take no further action I will be going on equality and diversity training, which had also been recommended by the assessment committee,” he said.

Council leader Cllr Stephen MacLoughlin said Conservative councillors would meet on Thursday but it was not clear whether they would by then have a report from Conservative Campaign Headquarters into Cllr Powell’s conduct.