Britain First
Members of far-right group Britain First stage an anti-Islamic protestBritain First

A senior Liberal Democrat councillor has stepped down from the party after sharing anti-Islamic material online from an extreme right-wing organisation.

Drew Millar, who represents the Isle of Skye on Highland Council, shared images and comments from the right-wing group Britain First on Facebook.

The Highland branch of the Liberal Democrats said the material Millar disseminated was "utterly reprehensible", and the party accused him of stirring up religious hatred.

Millar, who was chairman of the council's community safety and equalities committee, also shared a Britain First caption calling Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg a "cretin".

After an investigation was launched, Millar was asked to step down from his position but he refused, insisting that he was "innocent until proven guilty".

"I shared things that I thought people should be aware of," he said.

"I was in no way, in my mind, stirring up religious hatred. In my opinion, I had done nothing wrong and had agreed to meet the complaint group."

The Highland Council group subsequently voted to remove Millar from a working group. He said his position had been made untenable, and finally resigned from his position.

The Highland Council Lib Dem group said in a statement: "In early October, the group was made aware that Councillor Drew Millar of Skye had shared with friends on his Facebook page images and comments which came from Britain First, an extreme right-wing organisation.

"This was anti-Islamic material used by Britain First to stir up religious hatred. The group immediately acted to make the convener of the Scottish Liberal Democrats aware of this and he initiated the process of investigating the complaint.

"In the strongest possible terms, the Liberal Democrat group condemns the dissemination of such material as utterly reprehensible and wholly unacceptable."

Millar broke ranks with his party in September after announcing that he was supporting Scottish independence.