A CONTROVERSIAL councillor who was accused of transphobia has quit as leader of East Renfrewshire’s Conservatives after claiming he has lost the trust of “unelected officials” in Edinburgh.

Stewart Miller will now serve as an Independent member on East Renfrewshire Council.

He was investigated by the Scottish Conservatives earlier this year after complaints over a post he shared on Facebook about environmental activist Greta Thunberg.

But Councillor Miller, who has been a Conservative representative since 2007, said his decision to resign from the party has nothing to do with that probe.

He believes he has “lost the trust of the unelected party officials in Edinburgh, who I thought were there to support elected party members.”

Councillor Miller said: “I will continue to help and support the ward four (Clarkston, Netherlee and Williamwood) constituents, as I have always done, as an Independent councillor, just as my father did for almost 20 years.

“Nor is it just Conservative voters whom I will represent but every member of my local community, regardless of race, religion, colour, sexual orientation or, indeed, political affiliation.”

Back in May, the Scottish Conservatives revealed the party’s disciplinary committee was investigating Councillor Miller after he shared an image of Ms Thunberg with a caption stating that her generation could not decide “whether you’re a boy, or girl or ‘other.’”

After LGBT charity Stonewall Scotland said jokes about trans people’s identities are “hurtful,” Councillor Miller apologised, insisting it was never his intention to cause upset.

He had initially said the post “far from being transphobic was actually politically correct in as much as it stated that some people thought of themselves as male or female, but others thought of themselves differently.”

The photo of Ms Thunberg had been captioned: “My generation will start a revolution.”

Below the image, another caption stated: “Your generation can’t work 40 hours in a week, can’t decide whether you’re a boy, or girl or ‘other’ or can’t eat meat without crying.”

Councillor Miller, who is a farmer, shared the post, adding: “Haven’t heard much fae the wee lassie fae Sweden. Perhaps my coos are not the worst things on the planet after all.”

He will continue in his role as chairman of East Renfrewshire’s audit and scrutiny committee.

It is understood a constituent, who had called on Councillor Miller to resign after the Facebook post about Ms Thunberg came to light, is planning to make a complaint to the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life about his conduct.

The Scottish Conservatives were contacted for comment.