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SIC - Free Tyre Check - 22 Nov 2019

Election / Candidates hit out at ‘unacceptable’ Facebook comments about first minister

BY-ELECTION candidates have criticised misogynistic comments made on social media about Nicola Sturgeon’s recent visit to Shetland.

Several derogatory comments were made about the first minister on a Shetland Times Facebook post in relation to her trip to the isles earlier this week, where she visited the Cunningsburgh Show on Wednesday. The post has since been removed.

There were also some derogatory comments posted on the Shetland News Facebook page following our coverage of the first minister’s visit which we have since removed.

Labour candidate Johan Adamson said on Thursday that there was no place for “hatred or violence” towards anyone.

“I can understand the passion people have regarding politics and this by-election but stirring up hatred or violence towards any woman or man is totally unacceptable,” she said.

“There are three female candidates in this by-election and many women in politics who deserve respect, not least for being brave enough to stand in a world of male privilege.”

Scottish Greens candidate Debra Nicolson said she also been “subjected to a little bit of this type of behaviour” herself.

“This misogynistic behaviour has to be called out and stopped in its tracks,” she added.

“It’s this sort of thing that stops women getting involved in politics. It’s just not acceptable.”

SNP candidate Tom Wills also gave his thoughts on the subject, saying “no woman should have to suffer sexist abuse online, or anywhere else”.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow candidates Johan Adamson and Debra Nicolson for posting messages of solidarity with Nicola Sturgeon (and women in politics more generally), in response to the abusive comments,” he said.

“Gender equality transcends party boundaries, and it is encouraging to see online abuse being challenged collectively across party lines. Sexism in politics and our society is regrettably still widespread. So long as this is the case, we all have a duty to stand up to it.

“I hope that this is the last time we see abusive comments like these in Shetland.”

The Liberal Democrats’ Beatrice Wishart, meanwhile, said: “Sexism is utterly unacceptable and all too often turns women away from public life.

“We have a duty to call it out and I’m heartened my fellow candidates and I are united in that.”