Extremist Tory candidates elected to councils across Scotland

Concerns over vile abuse and bigotry from new Tory councillors

A RAFT OF TORY COUNCIL CANDIDATES criticised for a variety of extremist links and abusive remarks have now been elected to sit in council chambers across the country. 

The SNP has warned that “Tory hard-right extremists” now have influence over the range of public services delivered at local level. “People with these extreme views are now running schools and services on behalf of Tory party,” the party added, pointing to nine separate examples of extreme behaviour on the part of now elected councillors. 

The concerns follow the warning of ex-Tory Chancellor Ken Clarke that the party’s direction against the European Union and migration had made it more in keeping with the extreme views of notorious hard-right Tory firebrand Enoch Powell.

Kathleen Leslie, Fife

Called the First Minister of Scotland a "drooling hag" and said that only racists support independence. The Tories said she was “reminded of her responsibilities”.

Ron McKail, Westhill, Aberdeenshire

Re-elected Tory councillor had shared posts from extremist groups Britain First and the English Defence League. One message targeted the housing support given to refugees. McKail admitted he’d been “naive”.

Ian James, Perthshire 

James praised Enoch Powell and called the First Minister a “poison dwarf”. The Tories admitted this was “inappropriate”.

Neill Graham, Paisley Northeast, Renfrewshire

Graham’s name, address, and mobile number were found on a far-right British Nationalist Party database. He shared a post attacking the first Black President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, and a post supporting the troops involved in Bloody Sunday - when 26 people were killed. Graham denied ever being a BNP member. “I have nothing against Muslims or immigrants or Jews,” he told The Herald.

Todd Ferguson, Dalry and West Kilbride

Ferguson was accused of having a “xenophobic outlook” for questioning a SNP opponent’s views for being Dutch-born. Ferguson “apologised” and deleted the attack. 

David Wilson, Inverclyde

Wilson opposed support to a local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender group during a council debate. Reports state he claimed that flying a flag was already “plenty” of support for LGBT issues. He was accused of asking gay councillors to ‘out themselves’ in the meeting, a charge he denied. 

Euan Blockley, Glasgow 

Blockley was a member and supporter of Ukip while its policies criticised migrants and refugees, and was regularly criticised by equalities group Hope Not Hate for various racism and bigotry scandals. Now a Tory councillor, he only resigned from the party when he was “stitched-up” in its selection procedures for candidates. 

Donald Gatt, Moray 

Former Ukip supporter Gatt suggested that poor people shouldn’t have children. “Why do I have to pay for meals for those who chose to have them? If you can’t afford children buy Durex.” Gatt defended the remark as his attempt of criticising “providing something free of charge”.

Trevor Douglas, Airdrie

Tory councillor in Airdrie posted “Nigel Farage is the man”, and shared an anti-refugees post celebrating Farage’s rejection of help to those fleeing war and persecution.

Separately, the British nationalist group the Orange Lodge, accused of anti-catholic bigotry, claimed success in the council elections. Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland Grand Master Jim McHarg claimed at least six members had been elected, in remarks to the Sunday Herald. The group’s official publication has taken a hard line against the SNP and Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of Labour.

Picture courtesy of Rumantrix

Check out what people are saying about how important CommonSpace is: Pledge your support today.