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Cllr Mike Franklin suspended from Conservative party over offensive tweets

By Ed McConnell

A councillor has been suspended from the Conservative party over offensive tweets he shared three years ago.

Two retweets from Mike Franklin, who represents Luton and Wayfield, surfaced this morning after Baroness Sayeeda Warsi (Con) shared them.

She wrote: "Morning @BrandonLewis - another one for you. Apparently a Conservative councillor who has been peddling anti Muslim tropes and believes women who say “im a feminist and I’m against Islamophobia” are “#*****” Please do post what action is taken #Islamophobia"

Cllr Mike Franklin has been suspended
Cllr Mike Franklin has been suspended

Chairman of the party Mr Lewis responded: "This individual is no longer a member of the Conservative party. We unequivocally condemn the views expressed by this individual."

Mr Franklin was previously investigated for similar tweets also shared in 2016.

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi's tweet (7012015)
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi's tweet (7012015)

In a statement chairman of the Chatham and Aylesford Conservative Party Andrew Kennedy said:"Earlier this morning it was brought to our attention that Cllr Mike Franklin retweeted something which is hostile to Islam and contained offensive language.

"As a consequence of this, and with the consent of the Chatham & Aylesford Conservative Association Management Committee, I have suspended Mike Franklin’s membership of the Conservative Party pending a full investigation.

"Alan Jarrett, as leader of the Medway Council Conservative Group, has also taken action to suspend the Group Whip pending the outcoming of this enquiry.

"No further comment will be made."

Self-declared 'Christian Chatham man born and bred' Mr Franklin has been working in politics for 60 years and had recently expressed his intention to run again in May's election.

He could not be reached for comment this morning.

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