A DIE-HARD Labour supporter has quit the party he has supported for 60 years after he was suspended for sharing Facebook posts.

Former Jaywick councillor Dan Casey has appeared on numerous television programmes helping needy residents in the deprived ward– including Channel 5’s Benefits by the Sea.

Mr Casey, who is also president of Clacton Royal British Legion, was suspended by Labour in November following allegations he breached party rules.

The party said the allegations related to social media posts that “may be considered to be racist”.

The 79-year-old allegedly clicked ‘like’ or shared a number of posts, including a picture of a golliwog and a post by far-right group Britain First calling for burkas to be banned.

Mr Casey said: “I may have been a bit naive to share posts by Britain First, initially believing them to be from an armed forces’ group.

“Once I realised what they were, I stopped sharing them. But I’m 79 and may not be as au fait with the internet as younger people.

“This all comes from a disagreement with members within the Clacton Labour Party.

“They trawled through my old posts and when they found some from 2016, they took screenshots.

“I was suspended and couldn’t go to branch meetings or stand for election. This went on for months.

“They still haven’t made a final decision, but I have quit because I want to fight for the people of Jaywick in the local elections in May. Having to quit a party I love is something I regret but I’m appalled to think they can treat someone this way.

“I had a golliwog as a child and was very fond of it.

“I am not against the wearing of the burka. I am certainly not anti-Muslim.”

Max Morris, chairman of Clacton Labour Party, said he was “disappointed” that Mr Casey decided to quit before the party’s National Executive Committee had completed its investigation.

“The Labour Party is an inclusive place and takes allegations of racism very seriously,” he said.

“Jaywick is one of the most deprived places in the UK and was recently the subject of a UN investigation.

“Our candidates in the Tendring Council elections, Lesley Hartfield and James Machin, have the experience and skills to really make a difference.”