A controversial former Editor of Common Space has been condemned after revealing the identity of a gay MP’s partner. Angela Haggerty, who is now the News Editor at the Sunday Herald, caused outrage after posting a message on twitter which ‘outed’ another twitter user as the lesbian partner of SNP MP Mhairi Black.
The message read: “This week The Sunday Herald received an email saying staff should be “skinned alive”. We think that’s wrong. Here, Mhairi Black MP’s partner says she’s spoken to senior “@The SNP sources” and they “give no fucks”. I sincerely hope that’s not true.”
One social media user responded: “One of the unchanging *rules* in the gay community, of which I am a member, is that you NEVER publicly out a person or couple. Ever. It’s up to them if they want the world to know. Haggerty must know this.”
Another called the tweet the ‘last straw’ and vowed never to read Haggerty’s newspaper, the Sunday Herald, again: “I am really going to miss @foreigncorr1 and Iain McWhirter and many others, but that tweet was the absolute last straw for me. There will be no newspaper spread out in front of my Sunday coffee next week, for the first time in I can’t count how many years.”
The outrage forced the Sunday Herald News Editor to remove the offending tweet. Haggerty posted an apology: “Have taken a previous tweet down on account of your suggestions that the info in it isn’t widely known. From social media pics and other things it’s always seemed to me quite well known and public, but apologies if I’ve misread that.”
However many users of social media were unimpressed with the belated show of contrition. Actor Iain Robertson dismissed the apology: “What was well known, was that it wasn’t well known. Your actions, in my opinion, were deliberate & vindictive.”
Several users insisted Haggerty should apologise personally to the injured parties. One tweet read: “You should apologise personally to both parties concerned. I find it hard to believe that you don’t know what damage you might have caused by disrespecting a right to privacy from press intrusion.”
Another read: “I wonder how Mhairi’s partner is dealing with that Angela? I hate all forms of abuse and know you usually campaign agaist on-line abuse, but outing someone in public is pretty low? I do hope you’ll be apologising to them personally?”
The target of the tweet is believed to have closed her twitter account as a result of the ‘outing’.
The episode is not the first time the former Common Space Editor has targeted SNP MP Mhairi Black.
In 2017 Haggerty posted an image containing twitter ‘likes’ by the SNP MP after a Common Space junior reporter had trawled through Black’s twitter account.
The then Common Space Editor’s message read “Interesting choice of likes from an SNP MP.”
The ‘likes’ had been messages of support for pro-Independence blogger Stuart Campbell. The support for Campbell followed news that the blogger had initiated legal action against the then leader of Scottish Labour Kezia Dugdale after the MSP had accused Campbell of homophobia.
Haggerty eventually left Common Space after a series of controversies surrounding attacks on rival pro-independence bloggers. She joined the Sunday Herald as News Editor in April this year and has established hersef as a regular pundit on STV and BBC Scotland.
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