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Home   Medway   News   Article

Medway Council's new head of communications Ashley Wilcox brags on Twitter about pay in taxpayer-funded new job

19 August 2014
by Lizzie Massey

Medway Council's new public relations chief bragged on Twitter about his salary to a retail worker who he described as a "shop boy".

Ashley Wilcox became annoyed by the "rude" member of staff who remarked on how the goods at upmarket mens outfitter TM Lewin were “expensive”.

Mr Wilcox, who had not yet started his taxpayer-funded new job with the council, told his followers: "I'm in shorts and a T-shirt getting some new work clothes. A shop boy just said to me [our] shirts are expensive. How rude. He soon shut up when I said I earn in two months what he probably gets in a year. But stick your shirts, my money is never going your way."

Ashley Wilcox head of communications and marketing at Medway Council

Medway Council communications chief Ashley Wilcox

Mr Wilcox's role was initially advertised for between £45,000 and £60,000 per year, plus a £5,000 allowance.

Observers have quipped that it is more then enough for a few TM Lewin shirts at up to £90 a pop.

He started on August 6 and is the temporary head of communications and marketing at the council for 12 months - covering maternity leave for Charlotte Edwards, who got the job five months ago.

Mr Wilcox had accepted the job and was due to start two days after his tweet.

A Medway Council spokesman said: "The tweets were posted before Ashley Wilcox started his employment at Medway Council."

Tweets sent by Ashley Wilcox, head of communications and marketing at Medway Council

Tweets sent by Ashley Wilcox, head of communications and marketing at Medway Council

A Twitter gaffe did not stop Kent's first youth police commissioner Paris Brown losing her job over previous social media activity.

Last year, Miss Brown was pressured into resigning from her role - before she had even started - because of historic tweets which contained homophobic, racist and violent intimations.

Employers across all sectors are now analysing social media more avidly and are toughening up on what is appropriate to post on a public forum.

Ashley Wilcox head of communications and marketing at Medway Council

Ashley Wilcox, head of communications and marketing at Medway Council

They usually have social media guidelines in place to prevent embarrassing or even libellous comments reflecting back on the company - including those sent prior to a person's employment.

Medway Council refused to provide details of their guidelines.

The communications chief has since deleted his tweet, but declined to give any apology.

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