By Richard Fleury
Despite angry calls for his resignation, Swale Borough Council Leader Andrew Bowles has refused to apologise for a tweet supporting convicted criminal and racist agitator ‘Tommy Robinson’.
Conservative councillor Bowles, a farmer who represents the Boughton and Courtenay ward just outside Faversham, retweeted a post promoting Robinson – real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – as a ‘patriot’.
Yaxley-Lennon, a small-time convicted crook and former jailbird with a criminal record for assault, mortgage fraud and contempt of court, has gained national notoriety as a far-right peddler of anti-muslim hate.
A former member of the British National Party and co-founder of the English Defence League, Yaxley-Lennon was this week banned from Facebook and Instagram for life after breaking policies around hate-speech: material that uses dehumanizing language and calls for violence against muslims.
One right-wing tweet bearing a photoshopped image of Yaxley-Lennon as a rifle-carrying soldier flanked by waving Union Jack and St George’s Cross flags, declared:
Now reporting Tommy Robinson banned from Instagram and Facebook....this comes directly from the BBC. The reason he's racist to Muslims. This corruptness needs to stop Tommy is a Patriot. RT & TWEET about this disgraceful injustice.