TROUBLED Conservative candidate Afzal Amin has vowed to mount a “robust defence” against allegations he plotted fake protests in Dudley.

Mr Amin has been suspended by the party as general election candidate for Dudley North following claims by the Mail on Sunday he met English Defence League (EDL) leaders to a plot a demonstration against a new mosque.

The Mail alleges Mr Amin then planned to take credit for the march, which would cost the public thousands of pounds to police, being called off at the last minute.

A senior source in the Conservative party has told the BBC Mr Amin is likely to be removed from the party within days.

He faces a meeting tomorrow with party chiefs where he will be expected to explain his actions – the Mail also claims he planned to pay EDL supporters to canvass for him in Dudley.

Mr Amin strongly denies any wrongdoing and says his actions were altruistic community work to heal divisions.

He said: “The point was to announce a march that would bring people together to discuss and through these discussions tensions will be resolved because there are still serious tensions in Dudley which are growing and what this reporting has done is made the situation worse – not better.

“What I have tried to do is ease those tensions between those communities.

“When you are trying to resolve conflict there is always going to be a degree of stage management, trying to bring people together to resolve those conflicts. It wasn’t a deception, it was an exercise in bringing people together.”

However Mr Amin has been heavily criticised, Dudley North’s Labour MP, Ian Austin said: “I think it’s a shocking story -- a really appalling turn of events – and I think most people will think his behaviour is inexplicable and irresponsible.”

Dudley’s Muslim community appears to also be surprised by Mr Amin’s plan and his claims of community divisions.

Mosque chairman, Mohammed Aurangzeb, said "We are surprised to hear of Mr Afzal Amin's meetings with the EDL. It is a matter for the Conservative Party and we are waiting for the outcome of their internal enquiry. We have no involvement in any of this.

“We have enjoyed harmonious relations in Dudley for over 50 years. The mosque is open to everyone and all political parties are invited on open days and cultural functions. We do not encourage anyone to vote in any particular way. That is an individual choice.

“There is no mega mosque proposed in Dudley. The plans approved last year include a training centre, community centre, sports centre and a place of worship for local people. These facilities will be open to everyone and will replace our outdated, not fit for purpose grade II listed building at Castle Hill.

“We are further disappointed that this whole issue has been made a political football. We will not let any divisive group spread fear, hatred or division in our communities