Moray politician Sean Morton faced four charges relating to indecent images when he appeared in private at Elgin Sheriff Court.
On Wednesday, his party confirmed that he had been suspended with “immediate effect”
The representative for the Fochabers Lhanbryde ward made no plea to the charges and was bailed when he appeared in court on Christmas Eve.
Morton is charged with taking or making a photograph or pseudo-photograph of a child.
He was allegedly found in possession an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of a child and is accused of “distributing or showing” an indecent photograph.
Morton is also charged with possessing obscene material.
A Scottish Labour spokesman said: “Sean Morton has been suspended with immediate effect.”
No further court dates have been set.
STUNNED Labour bosses only found out one of their future hopefuls was facing “extreme pornography” and child sex charges after being told by The Scottish Sun.
Popular councillor and general election candidate Sean Morton appeared in court on Christmas Eve accused of a string of offences.
Details of the case emerged as the party launched their manifesto ahead of May’s council elections, when Morton, 35, was expected to stand again.
But last night a Labour source said: “The party was totally unaware of this until we were contacted by The Scottish Sun.”
He has now been suspended “with immediate effect”.
Insiders told how Morton, the Moray spokesman of the youth services branch, was considered a rising star in party ranks.
He is pals with a host of senior politicians and staffers, and is part of the centrist movement behind boss Kezia Dugdale.
He was also part of the Labour delegation — including Ms Dugdale — that jetted to the US to support Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential bid last year, and helped campaign in swing state New Hampshire.
Morton, whose mum Louise, 54, is involved with Moray Labour, has posted snaps of himself and figures including Ms Dugdale, Mrs Clinton and her daughter Chelsea.
A source said: “This will come as a huge shock to people within the party.”
Morton, of Lhanbryde, finished third as candidate in both the 2015 Westminster election and last year’s Holyrood poll.
Sean Morton with Hillary Clinton
He made no plea or declaration as he faced four charges concerning obscene images in a private appearance at Elgin Sherif Court.
One charge relates to taking, permitting to be taken, or making indecent images of a child.
A second concerns possession of such photos, while a third relates to “distributing or showing” pics.
The final charge relates to Morton allegedly being in possession of “extreme pornography”. No details have been made public but the offence surrounds images of “extreme acts” such as taking or threatening a person’s life, someone being severely injured, rape, or sexual activity between a person and an animal.
The councillor — who declares himself a volunteer at bodies including Victim Support — was elected in 2012 to the Fochabers, Lhanbryde and Spey Coast ward, after working as a parliamentary researcher.
On the day he appeared in court — he posted on social media: “There have been moments of unbelievable highs and devastating lows this year — for me personally and for many of you. But the sun rises in the morning, however dark the night. It always will. And another Christmas comes around. May your family and friends bring you all the love and kindness in 2017 that mine brought me in 2016.”
The Crown Office confirmed Morton appeared on petition and was committed for further ex-amination and bailed.
No date for his next appearance has been set.
Morton last night vowed to clear his name.
He said: “I don’t know what this is based on and I will fight these allegations with everything I have. I’ll go on fighting for the people I represent as a councillor and I will fight to win again in May.”
Last night, Morton posted a snap of himself on Twitter, apparently in Portugal, saying it was his “last full day” on holiday.
He added: “Got to be honest – looking forward to getting back to work!”