An Aberdeenshire councillor is facing a standards investigation after engaging in comments online that suggested north-east MP Andrew Bowie should be strung up from a bridge.
Geva Blackett is taking “a period of leave” from her role on the Cairngorms National Park Authority board after the comments surfaced last night.
We understand the SNP member has apologised to Mr Bowie for her remarks and is now “taking a break” from social media.
A comment posted online from an account named “alba_mellon” described Mr Bowie as “pathetic and grovelling” and suggested “dangling” him from Kincardine Bridge. It has been deleted and police are investigating.
Mr Bowie initially responded to the Twitter post by joking that he wasn’t worried as Kincardine Bridge “is about 120 miles from West Aberdeenshire”, to which Ms Blackett said: “There’s always Invercauld Bridge Andrew, never fear”.
Scottish Tory deputy leader Annie Wells condemned the comments, saying: “SNP politicians need to realise that their behaviour influences how the radical and aggressive members of their party behave.
“By getting involved with this dangerous individual, the councillor in question gives legitimacy to their views.
“We’ve seen recently how Nicola Sturgeon’s refusal to condemn racist border protests simply emboldened nationalists to ramp their demonstrations up.
“It’s time the SNP broke ties with the despicable online community with whom their share a constitutional obsession.”
The Tories have now lodged a complaint with the ethical standards commissioner over the exchange.
SNP politicians need to realise that their behaviour influences how the radical and aggressive members of their party behave.”
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We are aware of the tweets and enquiries are ongoing.”
Following the backlash over incident Ms Blackett posted on Facebook that she was “pretty stressed and very tired” and would be “taking a break”.
Xander McDade, Cairngorms board convener, said: “Councillor Blackett will with immediate effect take a period of leave from her duties as board deputy convener while the matter is investigated.”
It is not the first time Mr Bowie and Ms Blackett have crossed swords publicly.
In 2017 Mr Bowie, who then worked for Tory MSP Liam Kerr, was forced to apologise to Ms Blackett after sending an e-mail to a constituent branding her a “flipping woman”.
A spokesperson for the SNP Aberdeenshire group said: “Our group leader was made aware of the comment on Wednesday night and immediately spoke with Cllr Blackett.
“Cllr Blackett advised that the comment was meant to be a joke that stems from when Mr Bowie sent her an offensive email. However Cllr Blackett understands it was in bad taste. She has deleted the comment and has apologised to Mr Bowie.”