Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has been called on to take action after a local election candidate posted offensive messages on social media.
Dave Coleman targeted the disabled in one message which read: “doesn’t wear his helmet on the special bus, becaise it impedes my window licking abilities.”
In another message the Scottish Conservative candidate took aim at people who shop at Lidl. He wrote: “chavs to the left of me, pikeys to the right … here I am shopping in Lidls with you”
The messages prompted calls for Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson to act to stamp out intollerance within her party. Coleman is the latest in a string of Scottish Tory candidates and councillors to post offensive messages online.
SNP MSP Christina McKelvie tweeted: “When is @RuthDavidsonMSP going to deal with the racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, disablism and homophobia in her party? What an embarrassment they are Scotland.”
Davidson came under fire last year after two councillors were reinstated into the party after posting racist and sectarian messages online. Several similar incidents involving elected officials led to claims the Scottish Conservatives had an inherent problem with right-wing extremism.
Coleman is Scottish Conservative candidate in the Dalgety Bay and Inverkeithing by-election. Political rivals have now called on him to withdraw.
SNP candidate, Neil Hanvey, said: “These offensive Facebook posts by the Scottish Tory candiate are totally unacceptable and not befitting of someone seeking public office.
“Dave Coleman should stand down from the contest at once – if not then Ruth Davidson must remove him.”
Scottish Labour candidate Billy Pollock, said: “Anyone who mocks people with disabilities is not fit to represent the electorate, it saddens me that any political party would select a candidate making these type of comments.
“Mr Coleman’s Tory party are a party that are driving people to the depths of despair with their savage cuts and yet he has the audacity to mock those suffering from mental health issues.”
A defiant Coleman defended the messages, insisting they were only jokes. He told Kingdom FM: “These were daft comments made as a joke 8 years ago and I understand that this isn’t the kind of language expected of a councillor.
“I sincerely apologise to anyone upset by them.”
Candidates standing for election are:
Dave Coleman – Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Peter Collins – Independent
Mags Hall – Scottish Green Party
Neale Hanvey – Scottish National Party
Callum John Hawthorne – Scottish Liberal Democrats
Alastair Amundsen Macintyre – Independent
Calum Paul – Scottish Libertarian Party
Billy Pollock – Scottish Labour Party
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