TWO council candidates will still stand in the local elections – despite having been suspended from their party.

Daniel Gray and Alex Braithwaite were told they could no longer run for Brighton and Hove City Council as Labour candidates after they posted and shared offensive comments on social media.

Mr Gray was forced to apologise for posting a series of “unacceptable and sexist tweets”, including one which said “I love gang rape”.

And Ms Braithwaite angered the local Jewish community by sharing material they described as “anti-Semitic conspiracy theories”.

Labour suspended both candidates while it launched investigations into the pair’s conduct.

But it said it was too late to stop them from standing in the poll on May 2, due to election rules.

This means they will still be on the ballot, but if they are elected they will serve as independent councillors.

Senior party officials in the city have defended the pair.

One, local Labour chairman Jon Rogers, has written to the national party asking for Ms Braithwaite’s “foolish and hasty” suspension to be lifted.

Another senior official, Matt Webb, said on Twitter that Mr Gray’s “only crime is being a Labour Party socialist” and that "Dan has my absolute support”.

The Argus:

But when approached by The Argus, Mr Webb later denounced Mr Gray’s comments as “deeply awful” and “inexcusable”.

Ms Braithwaite is standing as a candidate in Wish ward in Hove.

The Argus:

Last week, she shared an article which described a Sunday Times investigation into Labour anti-Semitism as a “smear against Jeremy Corbyn”.

The investigation detailed leaked emails which showed that Labour members who made comments such as “Heil Hitler” and “F*** the Jews” had not been expelled from the party.

Following her suspension, she said: “I am sincerely sorry for the offence I have caused. I am committed to fighting anti-Semitism, which is so worryingly on the rise across Europe.”

Mr Gray, who is standing as a candidate in the St Peter’s and North Laine ward in Brighton, also apologised for his comments.

The Argus:

He said he was “deeply and sincerely” sorry for the offensive tweets, which were an “outlet for my own sadness”.

Labour said all complaints about inappropriate and misogynist language were taken “extremely seriously” and investigated fully.

A spokeswoman said: “Those who are suspended after the deadline can’t be removed from the register, but they are not party candidates.”