A Conservative councillor is facing disciplinary action after being accused of making racist comments about a group of Labour councillors.

Conservative member for Bush Hill Park councillor William Coleshill caused uproar in Enfield Council chamber yesterday (Thursday, September 20) over remarks made to Labour councillor Susan Erbil.

Responding to a motion opposing education funding cuts put forward by Cllr Erbil, Cllr Coleshill blamed “mass migration” for putting pressure on UK schools.

He then said: “When the Erbil family entered this country, did they bring a classroom with them?”

Cllr Coleshill was met with cries of “racist”, “shame” and “resign” amid chaotic scenes in the council chamber.

The comments drew a furious response from Cllr Erbil – who is from an ethnic minority background – and she repeatedly branded him a racist.

Cllr Coleshill withdrew the comments and said he apologised if anyone had taken offence.

Mayor of Enfield Saray Karakus, who was chairing the meeting, initially appeared to accept Cllr Coleshill’s apology and tried to move the debate on.

But the uproar continued and several councillors – including council leader Cllr Nesil Caliskan – called for the Conservative councillor to be suspended or for him to resign from the council.

The mayor called a ten-minute break in proceedings and a number of councillors left the chamber.

Cllr Coleshill was not present when the meeting readjourned.

An article in The Sunday Times earlier this year claimed at least six councillors in the Labour group, including Susan Erbil, were related to former councillor Nesimi Erbil.

It contained allegations that the councillors were linked to a religious minority group and had staged a “takeover” of the council following May’s local elections.

Cllr Caliskan said a “racist smear campaign” lay behind the allegations.

Following the meeting, Cllr Caliskan called for Conservative leader Cllr Joanne Laban to formally ask Cllr Coleshill to resign as a councillor.

Cllr Laban responded: “Cllr Coleshill has been referred to the local Conservative Party for his behaviour and comments at last night’s full council meeting with a view to taking disciplinary action.

“Whilst it is right to question the impact of mass immigration on our public services, Cllr Coleshill should have used more sensitive and moderate language and he apologises for any offence he has caused.”