A former prospective Ukip councillor has been stood down from representing the party in a Wigan ward over controversial comments surrounding homosexuality made on Facebook.
Residents were outraged by a post made by Steve Mills on the Ukip Astley & Mosley Common page in which it was interpreted that he was referring to homosexuality as “abnormal”.
He wrote: “Any resident of Astley or Mosley Common who needs help defending themselves against Wigan council or bailiffs, or if you think your children are being indoctrinated with abnormal sexual education in school, please feel free to contact me on this site or UKIP Leigh.”
Mr Mills was temporarily suspended from Facebook following the post after complaints were lodged.
While some questioned what he meant with the Wigan Council issue, many vented their anger at the reference to “abnormal sexual education”.
When contacted by the Evening Post, Mr Mills denied that he was referring specifically to homosexuals, adding that it was a general question.
I am a born-again Christian and I am saying that I believe that homosexuality is abnormal. That doesn’t mean I haven’t got friends who are homosexualsFormer Ukip candidate Steve Mills
However, he went on to add: “I am a born-again Christian and I am saying that I believe that homosexuality is abnormal. That doesn’t mean I haven’t got friends who are homosexuals.”
He slammed other Facebook users for the abuse that had been directed at him, referring to them as “vile” and also Facebook itself.
However, Ukip Leigh chairman Jayson Lomax-Hargreaves says that the comments are unrepresentative of the party and that Mr Mills no longer represents Astley and Mosley Common.
He said: “Mr Mills’s comments are Mr Mills’s comments and they do not represent Ukip policy and we do not agree with them.
“He should have posted this on his personal page and not on a Ukip-affiliated page.
“We are dealing with it internally in the party. He is no longer the ward representative for that area.”
Mr Mills says that the decision for him no longer to represent the party was a mutual one.
Astley and Mosley Common councillor Jo Platt, who beat Mr Mills in the election this year and is the cabinet member for young people, said: “I am proud to represent Astley and Mosley Common as it is and always has been an open and welcoming community.
“The comments posted by the Ukip ward representative have been deemed extremely offensive to members of our community and I am glad that he has taken the decision to step down whilst they further investigate the matter.”