A Tory councillor has been arrested after an alleged racist incident at an airport taxi rank.

Councillor Shaun Smith, 37, who represents Wheelton and Withnell ward on Chorley Borough Council, was held by police after a late night fracas at Manchester Airport.

Police have confirmed that investigations are continuing into two suspected racially aggravated offences and that Coun Smith has been granted police bail until next month.

A statement released by Greater Manchester Police, said: "At approximately 10.20pm on Monday June 19, police were called to a taxi rank at Manchester airport following reports that a man had been assaulted.

"A 37-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated common assault and a racially aggravated public order offence.

"He has been bailed until August 7 pending further enquiries."

Coun Smith, of Briers Brow, Wheelton, was elected for the Conservative Party in 2004 with a majority of 256 and has two years of his term to serve.

He represents an electorate of around 3,000 and was appointed the borough's lead member for waste in May this year.

Coun Smith is a member of Lancashire Tourism Partnership, Chorley Environmental Group, The North West Tourism Board, and Heapey and Wheelton village hall committee.

Leader of the controlling Conservative group, Peter Goldsworthy, said: "I'm aware of this and must stress that no charges have been made at present and the police are continuing their investigations."

Donna Hall, chief executive of Chorley Borough Council, said: "While the case is subjudice it would be inappropriate for me to comment and especially as the exact nature of the allegations is still under investigation by the police.

"As a general rule, any councillor facing unproven allegations would remain in place until due processes have come to a conclusion.

"If found to have acted inappropriately they would then face the Standards Board of England and Wales.

"Depending on the severity of the allegations, we do have the power to report cases before they are concluded and this will become a consideration as and when more information comes to light."

Coun Smith declined to comment on the allegations.