Candidate suspended

Lyall Duff

Lyall Duff

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A MURDOSTOUN candidate in May’s North Lanarkshire Council election has been suspended by the SNP after making abusive comments on Facebook.

Over a period of several weeks, Lyall Duff used the social networking site to accuse two Catholic midwives of being ‘money grabbing old witches’ for refusing to participate in abortions, urge people to burn branches of RBS, suggest physical repercussions against Fred Goodwin and his family and made racist remarks about French people.

He also viciously attacked opposition politicians and claimed his election victory was ‘in the bag’.

A SNP spokesman said: “Mr Duff has been suspended from membership of the SNP pending a full investigation into the comments attributed to him, which are wholly unacceptable.”

However, regardless of the party’s actions, Mr Duff will still appear on the ballot paper on May 3 as a SNP candidate because the deadline for withdrawal of his candidature has passed.

Labour politicians have called for Mr Duff to be sacked from the party.

Central Scotland list MSP Mark Griffin said: “This stream of bile is outrageous. It is probably the most disgusting abuse ever levelled by a mainstream candidate in Scotland. He is clearly unfit to be a candidate and the SNP must expel him from their party.”

Motherwell and Wishaw MP Frank Roy said: “This is very serious material and I think people in Murdostoun will be concerned and offended. It is completely unacceptable. North Lanarkshire can do without this kind of behaviour.”

Mr Duff is one of six people standing in Murdostoun against fellow SNP candidate John Taggart, Labour’s Alan Clinch and Nicky Shevlin, Tory Cindy Mackenzie and Independent Robert McKendrick.

Mr Shevlin said: “Leaving aside party preference, he just isn’t fit to hold public office.

Mr Duff was unavailable for comment.

The offending posts have now been deleted from his Facebook page and his profile removed from the Motherwell and Wishaw SNP website.

Full story in April 4 edition of Motherwell Times