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Councillor suspended for sending 'offensive' tweets

Gregor Murray, of Dundee, used 'disrespectful' language towards a member of the public online.

By STV News

Published 15 May 2019.

A councillor has been suspended for two months for sending "offensive and inappropriate" tweets.

Gregor Murray, who represents Dundee's North East ward, used "disrespectful" language during Twitter exchanges with a member of the public on gender issues.

The councillor, who is the only elected trans official in Scotland, quit the SNP this week after accusing the party of institutional transphobia.

The Standards Commission for Scotland said the councillor used "terms that were insulting and offensive during Twitter exchanges with a member of the public, on gender related issues, in January and July last year and, as such, behaved in a disrespectful manner".

Panel chairwoman Ashleigh Dunn said: "The decision of the hearing panel is to suspend for a period of two months, the respondent, Councillor Murray's entitlement to attend all meetings of Dundee City Council and any committee or sub-committee thereof, with effect from and including, Monday, May 20 2019.

"The decision is made in terms of section 19(1)(c) of the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000."

The panel added: "The panel further determined that the councillor's use of the 'c' word in a public forum such as a tweet was highly offensive and inappropriate.

"The panel found the councillor's behaviour amounted to a contravention of the councillors code of conduct."

In relation to leaving the party, the councillor said: "I am extremely sad to announce that after 18 years of giving everything I have, financially, physically and mentally to the SNP, that I feel I must now leave.

"As a trans person, I do not feel welcome, or safe within the party's structure.

"For the past year, I have had absolutely no support from the party HQ while fighting a series of overwhelmingly vexatious and scurrilous complaints.

"They have been completely derelict in their duty of care towards me, and have not afforded me the same support as others in similar positions. I have been left entirely out of my depth dealing with legal matters I do not understand."

An SNP spokesman said: "We're sorry that Gregor feels this way, but cannot agree with the claims being made.

"The SNP has a proud record in advancing Scotland's reputation as one of the most progressive countries in Europe in terms of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex equality."