A SENIOR Newport Tory hit out after he was asked if a candidate could be put forward for a vacant seat just 48 hours after the sitting councillor died.

An e-mail sent by the office of Tory South Wales East AM Mohammad Asghar, to council cabinet member and fellow Conservative Peter Davies, requests that his wife Firdaus Asghar be considered for the seat of Les Knight.

Cllr Knight died on Sunday and his funeral is yet to be held.

Cllr Davies has called the email “impertinent, callous and in extremely poor taste.” The AM yesterday apologised and said his wife will not be standing.

The e-mail, sent from the AM’s office with his signature, reads: “I am very sad about Cllr Les Knight although it seems that things are already moving on in terms of the Allt-yr-yn seat.”

The news emerged after Mr Asghar paid tribute to Mr Knight in a letter to the Argus, saying the Conservative Party had lost a great campaigner.

Mr Davies said he was not in a position to influence the selection in Allt-yr-yn ward but was “bowled over” by the message.

He added: “I am shocked that anyone should even write to me putting forward a name at this stage. I think it’s terrible bad taste.”

Newport Labour councillor Allan Morris said the sensitivities of family should come first and said his thoughts were with the Knight family.

“Any politician at any level should seriously think how they would feel if this was happening to their family,” he added.

Mr Asghar said: “If anybody has been hurt I sincerely apologise.”