Princes End Councillor Archer Williams has taken the reins pending the results of a probe into tweets allegedly posted by Councillor Laured Kalari – which he furiously denies. It comes after Councillor Kalari had said he would continue to lead the Conservatives on Sandwell Council and was seeking legal advice.
He has strenuously denied making a series of offensive messages on social media posted in 2020 and 2021.
One post describes the grieving friends of murder victim Sarah Everard as “inbred”. Another describes Labour deputy Angela Rayner as a “yappy ****” and in another a Muslim woman is told “not to get your hijab in a twist”.
It comes just one month after the previous leader of the opposition Sandwell Conservative group, David Fisher, stood down after claims of offensive tweets.
The Conservative Party headquarters suspended Rowley Councillor Kalari on Friday.
Councillor Williams told the Express & Star: "I have been appointed acting Conservative leader for the time being.
"I cannot comment on Councillor Kalari's situation but I am honoured to be the first black leader of the Conservative Party in Sandwell.
"I got into to politics to make a difference, and I believe as acting leader of the Conservative group I can expose the shambolic leadership of the Sandwell Labour administration in Sandwell."
He added: "This is an important time for Sandwell with the Government announcing last week they were considering sending in commissioners into the authority due the problems caused by the Labour Party in Sandwell."
Councillor Kalari had earlier said: “It has recently come to my attention that a number of historic tweets have come to light, claiming to have originated from my Twitter account.
“I categorically deny that these were written by me and the views expressed, which are abhorrent, are not one which I hold.
“The handle from which the tweets claim to have originated do not match the handle on my verified account.
“I will be contacting West Midlands Police and Twitter as well as seeking additional legal advice.
“I will continue to lead Sandwell Conservatives, who are committed to working hard for the people of Sandwell, as well as holding Sandwell Labour to account.”
West Midlands Police have yet to confirm Councillor Kalari has approached them with a complaint.
Councillor Archer, who was first elected to office last year, has promised to fight for the people of Sandwell whilst he is acting leader.
He said: "The people of Sandwell have been let down long enough, as acting leader I will do everything I can to improve the situation in Sandwell."
Conservative MP for West Bromwich East Nicola Richards had earlier said she was “shocked” by the nature of the alleged tweets.
No other Conservative Councillor in Sandwell would respond to requests for a comment about Councillor Kalari.