North Ayrshire’s Tory group have breached their own Twitter ban only three days after it was announced.

The Conservative group took the step to stop its seven councillors using Twitter last week after Irvine West member Scott Gallacher had to apologise for several offensive posts, while colleague Cllr Todd Ferguson faced calls to quit over ‘xenophobic’ tweets about an SNP rival.

However Irvine East Cllr Angela Stephen managed to breach the ban after only three days last week – by innocently tweeting to her followers about a Dog’s Trust charity event last Thursday.

When contacted by the Times, Conservative group leader Cllr Tom Marshall said: “Angela was not present at the group meeting on Monday [July 8] and did not realise that the decision on not using Twitter applied to all accounts and not merely to those operates under a ‘Councillor’ nom de plume.

“To re-emphasise, none of the Conservative Group will be posting to Twitter for the foreseeable future.”

In the previous statement, the group said: “The Conservative Group of councillors on NAC condemns the use of Twitter by councillors from all parties who have used this and social media to attack other councillors.

“We accept our responsibility to support and observe the high standards of conduct which is expected of all councillors. We do as councillors strive to comply with the Councillors’ Code of Conduct published by the Standards Commission for Scotland.

“This provides that when performing duties as a councillor, a councillor must respect all other councillors, members of the public and all council employees and the role they play, treating them with courtesy at all times.

“If we have inadvertently failed to live up to this high standard we do apologise.

“We have decided as a group to cease using Twitter and will not respond to any negative and derogatory postings from fellow councillors and in the interest of member relations would request that other members do likewise.

“Otherwise member relations will be irreparably damaged and impair the work of the council.”

Group leader Cllr Tom Marshall added: “The group unanimously agreed to this statement."

In response to the statement SNP Cllr Joy Brahim said: “The fact of the matter is it’s only been Conservative councillors who used Twitter to defend slavery, to tell other users to “keep jogging on” and to “F.O.” (f**k off), to call users “mad”, a “T$%T” (twat), “tardo”, to make derogatory remarks about women’s looks and call them “shouty wimmin” who should stay at home making their husbands’ lunches, to call on people to boycott a local business because its owner doesn’t share their politics, to spread lies about another councillor, to incite outrage against another councillor because she’s foreign, and so on...And that’s just on Twitter.

“Given their embarrassing and undignified social media track record, one really has to laugh at Tom Marshall’s statement and misunderstanding of people’s intelligence.”

Labour Cllr Robert Foster said: “The Tories taking their xenophobia and misogyny off Twitter is a good thing but social media is not the issue, it is the fact that they hold these views in the first place.

“Astonishingly, it seems they are happy to dish out on social media but don’t like it when its called out for what it is – bile. As for congratulating Todd Ferguson, there will be many people wondering what planet these Tories live on.”

“What is missing from the Tories statement is the word sorry. A genuine, apology, rather than these diversionary tactics, is what’s needed.”