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Disgraced Tory politician who shared ‘transphobic’ Greta Thunberg meme quits after ‘losing party trust’

Emma Powys Maurice September 16, 2020
Tory councillor under fire for sharing ‘transphobic’ Greta Thunberg meme

Stewart Miller shared an "inappropriate" post about Greta Thunberg (Stefano Guidi/Getty/East Renfrewshire Council)

A top Scottish Conservatives councillor who came under fire for sharing an offensive Greta Thunberg meme on Facebook has left the party claiming he has now “lost the trust” of officials.

Councillor Stewart Miller was leader of the Scottish Conservatives group of East Renfrewshire Council, a senior position representing both his party and community. Though he has resigned from his party, he will continue on as an independent councillor.

Miller drew criticism in April for sharing an image of 17-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg, captioned with Thunberg’s famous quote: “My generation will start a revolution.”

Below this were the words: “Your generation can’t work 40 hours in a week, can’t decide whether you’re a boy, or girl or ‘other’ or can’t eat meat without crying.”

The now-deleted post was seen by Barrhead News (Facebook)

The comments attracted condemnation from Stonewall Scotland and led to a party disciplinary committee investigating the complaints.

Miller, who has been a Scottish Conservatives representative since 2007, claimed his decision to resign from the party has nothing to do with the investigation.

He told the Glasgow Times he believes he has “lost the trust of the unelected party officials in Edinburgh who I thought were there to support elected party members”.

“I will continue to help and support the Ward 4 (Clarkston, Netherlee and Williamwood) constituents as I have always done, as an independent councillor, just as my father did for almost 20 years,” he said.

Before Miller stepped down the Scottish Conservatives leader Jackson Carlaw called for him to resign or be suspended. As the backlash grew Miller eventually apologised for the offensive post, having initially refused to do so.

“Having reflected on the post, I understand the offence it may have caused. It was never my intention to cause upset to any individuals and I apologise unreservedly,” he said.

“While I didn’t write those words myself, I do understand that, by sharing them, the impact can be equally significant. I’ve taken on board the words from charities like Stonewall and have resolved to improve my conduct as a councillor in future.”

More: Conservative Party, East Renfrewshire, Facebook, greta thunberg, Scotland, tory councillor

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