SNP reinstates councillor who warned men to ‘guard your circle’ around gay politician
A councillor who was suspended by the Scottish National Party over homophobic and sexist comments has been reinstated after just four months.
Andy Doig, who sat for the party on Renfrewshire Council, was suspended by the SNP late last year over a ‘spoof’ press release.
Doig, who at the time had been selected to run for Scottish Parliament in Renfrewshire South, had sent a “humerous” email containing homophobic and sexist comments to a number of colleagues.
In the release, he advised a colleague to “to guard his inner circle closely” around Scottish Transport Minister Derek Mackay – who is openly gay.
He also described a female SNP activist as “seriously stacked” and said he “would like to get seriously lost somewhere around her mid torso”.
Doig quit as a candidate in September after the ‘spoof’ became public, and was suspended by the party.
However, he had his party membership reinstated this month as the suspension expired – and according to the Herald he was seen taking part in the public launch of SNP candidate Tom Arthur, who replaced him in the seat.
An SNP spokesman said: “Cllr Doig’s suspension from the SNP expired on 3 January, so he rejoins the SNP Group on Renfrewshire Council and can resume activity for his local branch.”
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Labour’s candidate Paul O’Kane told the newspaper: “I was extremely surprised to see Cllr Doig at the SNP campaign launch in Johnstone beside candidate Tom Arthur and MPs Gavin Newlands and Kirsten Oswald.
“Councillor Doig was removed as the SNP candidate for Renfrewshire South last year and was suspended by the SNP for alleged homophobic and misogynistic comments in an email.
“Tom Arthur must explain why he was present and say whether he supports Cllr Doig’s statement that his comments were ‘humorous’.
“Homophobia is not funny and along with misogyny and other forms of hatred it has no place in our community. Everyone has a duty to speak out against such discrimination, especially those in politics and public life.”
Doig has previously won support from SNP MP Mhairi Black
Doig has consistently denied that he is homophobic or sexist, and insists his comments were intended to be a “joke”.
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.