SNP councillor suspended due to ‘homophobic’ email
The SNP councillor has resigned as a candidate and been suspended from the party.
The action was take after SNP’s Andy Doig allegedly made homophobic comments about an out gay minister, which he insists were intended as “humorous”.
Reports suggest the email – written in July – sees Mr Doig refer to a female SNP activist in a “very misogynistic” and “nasty” way, before taking aim at transport minister Derek Mackay – who came out in 2013.
Mr Doig – who has previously won the support of the popular out politician Mhairi Black – said: “I want to fight to clear my name and get back into the party that I love.”
The Sunday Herald also reports that the scandal comes just a week after the popular candidate for Renfrewshire South won an intense five-way battle to represent his party.
Doig is reported to have explained away the email as a “spoof press release” not meant to be read by anyone other than two close friends.
“Humour is a very personal thing and I accept that what one person finds humorous another may find offensive,” he told The Gazette.
“This was a private spoof press statement, not intended for public consumption.”
He then went to insist that he was not homophobic – stating his public support for the recent Irish Referendum is proof of his belief in LGBT equality.
“I recently welcomed on Twitter the vote in Ireland for same sex marriage and one of the main political campaigns I was involved in in the later 1980s was to stop the closure of the Women’s Aid refuge in Falkirk.
“So I refute charges of misogyny and homophobia.”
He will now face a party disciplinary hearing to determine whether his membership will be restored.
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The 2016 Scottish Parliament election is due to be held on May 5. Renfrewshire South, a marginal Labour seat, has been named as one of SNP’s key targets.
Last week, former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond came under fire for saying he preferred “people of faith”.
The Scottish National Party MP for Gordon, who stepped down as First Minister last year following the independence referendum, made the claims on a video with a Church of Scotland chaplain, Reverend Stuart MacQuarrie.
Current First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has previously said that she supports a number of LGBT centred policies – such as a LGBT rights envoy – as her party recently condemned ISIS’ torture and oppression of LGBT people.