John Swinney distances himself from Mhairi Black in school drag act row

Mhairi Black defended the visitMhairi Black defended the visit
Mhairi Black defended the visit | jpimedia
John Swinney has said a school in Paisley made an “incorrect judgement” after an adult drag act was invited to speak with pupils as part of an LGBT History month event last week.

The education secretary today admitted that the actor, who performs under the stage name FlowJob, should not have been invited to speak at Glencoats Primary and distanced himself from comments made by an SNP MP who defended the visit.

Mhairi Black, who accompanied the drag queen, suggested on Monday that those who criticised the visit were homophobes but Mr Swinney claimed parents had raised “quite understandable concerns.”

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Asked whether Ms Black should apologise for her accusation, he said: “I’ll speak on my behalf and I’ll let Mhairi Black express her view on all of these issues.”

Ms Black had applauded the school for arranging a “great day” and hit out at critics for being homophobic.

“If my school had invited a gay MP and a drag queen to visit during LGBT History Month, or even acknowledged that LGBT History Month existed, it would have made an immeasurable difference to the difficult childhoods my LGBT classmates and I had,” Black wrote on Twitter.

“Yet so many people in my mentions want acknowledgement of LGBT people shut down because you still think there’a something inappropriate in our existence. You’re willing to see another generation of LGBT people growing up believing that who they are should be hidden away.”

She continued: “You just know that the people pretending to be livid that a drag queen read a book in a school in my mentions rn are also the people who run out to buy their kids the latest Grand Theft Auto on release day. Your homophobia is transparent.”

The event at Glencoats Primary School in Ferguslie Park has been defended by the organisation LGBT Youth Scotland.

It said: “We’re horrified to see the abusive messages and tweets targeting Glencoats Primary School for their bold and brilliant LGBT inclusive education practices.

“We are proud to work with their pioneering headteacher, and recognise the school as an example to others across the country.”

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Renfrewshire Council said yesterday it would not have invited the artist, who visited Glencoats Primary in Paisley last week, had it been aware of sexually explicit images shared on the performer’s social media profiles.

The actor had been introduced to pupils as “Flow” while appearing at an educational event.

The class was intended to discuss the legacy of Section 28 of the 1988 Local Government Act, now repealed.

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