BY Ian Dunn | August 25 2017 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

1-MAJURY

Tories welcome back bigoted tweet councillor

Alastair Majury reinstated, without equality training, after anti-Catholic posts.

The Scottish Conservatives have reinstated a councillor they suspended for posting anti-Catholic bigotry online—without making him undergo equality and diversity training first.

Alastair Majury was elected for Bridge of Allan in the Stirling council area in May.

However, he was was suspended by the party after the SCO revealed the secret Twitter account he used to post distasteful remarks about Catholics, including using the derogatory term ‘tarrier.’

Another Stirling Conservative ­councillor, Robert Davies, was also ­suspended after it was discovered he had used Twitter to make racist jokes.

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: “Having served a suspension, both councillors have been readmitted to the party after offering unreserved ­apologies for any offence caused.

“It has been made abundantly clear that behaviour like this will not be tolerated in future. Both councillors have committed to taking part in diversity and equality training, and that was one of the conditions of them being readmitted to the party.”

Dave Scott, campaign director for Nil by Mouth, a charity which works to end sectarianism in Scotland, said he was ­disappointed at the Conservative’s response.

“When this story emerged, we offered to work with the elected members ­concerned to help them understand why their tweets caused such controversy and upset,” he said. “A Conservative Party spokesperson indicated that the ­member involved would take part in such a ­meeting. Sadly, we have heard nothing from either the councillor or the party.”

NIl by Mouth later said that at the request of Conservative party officals they had agreed to meet with a number of elected officials to discuss online posting and attitudes to equality.

Scottish Labour’s inequalities spokesperson Monica Lennon MSP said the ­reinstatement raised serious questions.

“It is disappointing to see the Tories reinstate these councillors, especially as they don’t appear to have undergone any sort of equality or diversity training ­during the three month suspension,” she said. “These racist, sectarian and anti-Catholic remarks have absolutely no place in our society and there is no evidence that lessons have been learned. Representing your community in local government is a privilege and an ­enormous responsibility.

“The Tories have badly misjudged this and must think again.”

Whitewash SNP MSP James Dornan said that the councillors’ reinstatement without training was ‘an extraordinary revelation’ and that it ‘suggests that the whole issue has simply been a whitewash.’

“Ruth Davidson and her party seem to think that they can just sweep this scandal under the carpet and move on,” he said. “But people have the right to expect these councillors make good on their promise to receive equalities training.

“Not only is it a disgrace that these councillors have been deemed suitable to return to the Tory party by Ms Davidson, it appears that they have done absolutely nothing to change their bigoted opinions.”

Mr Dornan said the whole incident ­suggested that ‘instead of condemning sectarianism and prejudice, they are instead happy to turn a blind eye to it.’

“Ruth Davidson must urgently explain why this anti-sectarian training was not taken up—and just why they think it is acceptable for people with such extreme and offensive views to represent her party in Stirling,” he said.

— ian@sconews.co.uk

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