Scottish Tories suspend councillor over Nicola Sturgeon tweet

Nicola Sturgeon interview

A Scottish Conservative councillor has been suspended by the party after tweeting that he would like to see members of Islamic State infiltrate the home of the first minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

Gordon McCaskill, a councillor for East Renfrewshire, was responding to a TV interview given by Sturgeon on Sunday, in which the SNP leader said she would be “absolutely happy” to house a refugee from Syria.

McCaskill posted on Twitter: “Scenes we’d like to see: the refugees Nicola invites into her house are Daesh [Islamic State] moles.” The tweet has since been deleted.

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives confirmed that McCaskill has been suspended as a member of the party with immediate effect, subject to an investigation.

An SNP spokesperson said: “There can be no excuse for this offensive online behaviour, and it is only right that councillor Gordon McCaskill has been suspended.

“The refugee crisis is a serious issue which David Cameron and [the Scottish Tory leader] Ruth Davidson say they want to treat seriously, and they are let down by Tory colleagues who indulge in posts on the web like this.”

British Vogue has been promoting an interview with Sturgeon in its October edition in which she refers to “hideous and cruel” comments made online and in the media about her appearance.

She tells the magazine: “Literally every time I’m on camera, as well as there being commentary on what I’ve said, there’ll be commentary on what my hair looked like, what I wear. Often it’s written in the most hideous and quite cruel way.

“And yes, men aren’t immune to that, but even Ed Miliband I don’t think experienced it quite that way. But I’m actually inured to it now.”

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Libby Brooks Scotland correspondent, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 8th September 2015 17.26 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010