The Deputy Mayor of Medway Councillor Steve Iles has been expelled from the Conservative Party after being named by LBC as being a part of a dossier handed to them containing Islamophobic content posted by councillors across the country.
LBC have highlighted a post of a bacon sandwich as being part of a problematic pattern of behaviour. While no rational person would find a picture of a bacon sandwich offensive, the implication that the photo has been reported as offensive is a common trope amongst anti-Islam social media users. Other users are then encouraged to share the image to irritate Muslims further. It’s completely absurd yet is somehow a common trope in certain corners of the internet.
Cllr Iles has a somewhat.. ‘colourful’ history with social media beyond bacon sandwiches, sharing memes about Britain being ‘The Welfare Country’, doctored photos of Jeremy Corbyn wearing a ‘lets forget’ poppy, jokes about the assassination of the Labour leader, and demonstrably untrue claims about a Lib Dem MP.
Cllr Iles is a former Mayor of Medway and has represented Strood North on Medway Council since 2015.
We reached out the Medway Conservative Group and received the following response from Conservative Leader Alan Jarrett:
As a result of thoroughly unacceptable posts on social media Councillor Steve Iles has been expelled from the Conservative Party. The posts in question are completely contrary to the values of both the Medway Conservative Group and the Conservative Party nationally, and do not adhere to our strong commitment to diversity and inclusivity.
I have met with Councillor Iles and explained that his actions are unacceptable, and as a consequence he will no longer enjoy the Conservative Whip or be able to sit as a Conservative Councillor.
On a personal note, I sincerely regret any offence the actions of Councillor Iles may have caused.