A former Yate councillor is set to be stripped of an honorary title after he allegedly harassed the town's MP, the home secretary and others in a “sustained campaign” of online abuse.

Alan Lawrance was made an Honorary Alderman by South Gloucestershire Council in 2015 when he retired after 24 years of service.

He represented the Dodington ward on the council and was also a Yate town councillor, serving as mayor from 1994 to 1996.

Toby Savage, the leader of South Gloucestershire Council, has recommended that the title, awarded for “eminent” service, be removed on the basis of a set of damning allegations made by the Tory MP for Thornbury and Yate, Luke Hall.

Cllr Savage’s recommendation and Mr Hall’s allegations were published by the council ahead of a meeting next week where a decision whether to remove Mr Lawrance’s title will be made.

Mr Lawrance said he did not want to make any comment at this stage.

Mr Hall wrote to Cllr Savage in March, asking that Mr Lawrance be stripped of his title.

The MP said the former Liberal Democrat councillor had subjected him to “extensive and targeted harassment”.

“Other political figures, journalists, South Gloucestershire Council candidates and young political activists have been subjected to language and accusations unbecoming of a South Gloucestershire Council Alderman,” Mr Hall wrote in his letter, published on the council’s website.

“Instances where the UK Home Secretary is compared with a convicted serial killer, the Leader of the House of Commons is portrayed as Adolph Hitler, young local activists are, without evidence, accused of being fascists and racists, female members of South Gloucestershire Council are dismissed based purely on their physical appearance and a female Prime Minister is described as my ‘Mistress’.

“This has become such a sustained campaign of abuse that I have felt it necessary to bring Alderman Lawrance’s comments to your attention.

“Members of our own community, who have taken the decision to vote for the Conservative Party in democratic elections, are regularly insulted, derided and ridiculed by Mr Lawrance for their own privately held personal views. 

“I myself have been subjected to ongoing abuse, with Mr Lawrance regularly levelling unsubstantiated accusations around my personal integrity and character, insults about my intelligence, and calling into question my fitness for public office.”

Mr Hall provided evidence of Mr Lawrance’s online comments – made via Twitter and email – but the information is restricted from public view on the council’s website. 

Members of South Gloucestershire Council, the majority of whom are Conservatives, are due to decide whether to strip Mr Lawrance of his Honorary Alderman title at a meeting on Wednesday (July 21).

In a report to the meeting, Cllr Savage wrote: “I agree that the request to remove the honorary Alderman status is balanced and reasonable and that the behaviours demonstrated by Alderman Lawrence are unbecoming of an Alderman and bring the council into disrepute.”

Council protocol requires Honorary Aldermen and Alderwomen to behave in a way that does not harm the council or its reputation.

They are required to demonstrate and promote high ethical standards of behaviour in accordance with seven principles of public life, dubbed the Nolan Principles: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, and leadership.