Lecturer suspended after racist email

A local politician from the Center Party in central Sweden has been suspended from his university teaching job, after sending a racist email, which he says was "a joke gone wrong".

When student Mehran Mahmoudi sent an enquiry about a course to the Center politician and lecturer,  he got a strange reply: "can you help Mohammed, he seems to come directly from Mecca".

Hans Erik Hellborg, a lecturer at Dalarna University, had replied directly to the e-mail instead of forwarding his comments on to a colleague.

The municipal politician says that his email was "inappropriate" and that he regrets sending it.

Mehran Mahmoudi told Swedish Radio news - "I was shocked and disappointed. It is unacceptable," the 23-year-old said.

The Center party councillor's political future is to be discussed by his district party while he has been suspended from teaching  while an internal investigation takes place.