Charity chides Ruth Davidson for '˜potentially damaging' comments

An anti-racism charity has hit out at Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson after a slip of the tongue caused her to refer to them as an 'anti-Semitic charity'.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Show Racism the Red Card sought to clarify comments made by Ms Davidson as she appeared on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme, where she defended reinstating two councillors who made offensive remarks about Catholics and black people.

The MSP said that the two Stirling councillors had undertaken training to improve their behaviour, as she also defended comments about gypsy travellers made by MP Douglas Ross.

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The charity’s website quoted Ms Davidson as saying “They’ve also gone for diversity training, because I want to change their behaviour…and on top of that, they’re in talks with an anti-Semitic charity called Show Racism The Red Card, because they want to be able to change their behaviour.”

Show Racism the Red Card wrote in a statement: “We have received communications from the Conservative Press Office that the anti-Semitic comment made by Ruth was a slip of the tongue.

“However, we need to reiterate that Show Racism the Red Card is an anti-racism charity working across all ethnicities, cultures, religions and nationalities. Moreover, such a comment can be potentially damaging to a small organisation like ours.”

They also denied undertaken training with the three members who have sparked outrage with their offensive comments.

The statement added: “Last week we did call on the Tory party to have the three Party Members work with us and to participate in anti-racism education training, but we have not had any discussions with them as was stated in the interview.”

On Moray MP Ross, the charity said: “We would still like Douglas Ross to participate in our ‘Tackling Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Bullying’ programme with us which is co-delivered by members of the Travelling Community.”