This week, Tory councillor Brian Gordon faced calls for his resignation after 'blacking up' as Nelson Mandela for the Jewish festival of Purim.

Yet it is not the first time Mr Gordon has been accused of being racist, the Hendon Times can reveal - but in March 1977, the word people used was 'racialist'.

Almost 30 years ago to the day, when the 21-year-old Brian Gordon was the Conservative candidate for the Burnt Oak by-election, he told a meeting of Edgware Conservatives that he wanted an end to immigration because he felt that Britain should not be the 'dustbin' of the world.

According to our March 31 edition that year, Mr Gordon also said that Britain should not have to 'suffer' on account of African tyrant leaders expelling their Asian citizens, before adding: "Whether or not it was wise to accept them into Britain in the first place is quite another matter, but now they are here they must be treated fairly and accorded all the rights and freedoms of other British citizens."

The Hendon Times editor at the time, Dennis Signy, wrote a strongly worded comment in the following week's edition, saying that his interpretation of the dustbin remark was that 'any immigrant to this country can be classified as so much garbage'.

A note on our letters page stated that Mr Gordon's dustbin comment had 'produced our largest postbag for months'. Letters featured accused Mr Gordon of being 'racialist' and like a National Front member.

At the by-election count two weeks later, he was subjected to cries of 'racialist' from the public gallery at Hendon Town Hall as he spoke. He came a distant second behind Labour, just 299 votes ahead of the National Front candidate, Bernard Franklin.

Richard Hadley, the chairman of the Hendon South Labour Party, called on the borough's four Tory MPs, including Margaret Thatcher, to disown Mr Gordon. "I had been as horrified as your readers by the extraordinary racialist outpourings of Mr Gordon," said Mr Hadley.

Mr Gordon denied accusations of racialism, saying: "The Front are an extremist and racialist organisation. Their views are anathema to me."

Speaking today (Thursday), Mr Signy said: "I remember his remarks and I remember feeling he had spoken out of term," said Mr Signy. "It was an issue and it ran for a while.

"He was very young and brash at the time.

"It didn't have the same political impact then because there was not the same political correctness. It was a different era."

Mr Gordon, who denies any accusation of racism, was unavailable for comment today.