Chinese SNP councillor quits amid ‘racism’ claims

Yen Hongmei Jin: Gone to the police. Picture: Hemedia
Yen Hongmei Jin: Gone to the police. Picture: Hemedia
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SCOTLAND’S only Chinese SNP councillor has quit the party amid claims of being subjected to a “racist attack” and “bullying”.

Yen Hongmei Jin, 29, says she was forced to resign after the party’s top brass failed to protect her against “discrimination” from local party members.

They are trying to shove it under the carpet

Yen Hongmei Jin

It comes after she received a “rude” and “vulgar” e-mail in February in response to a Burns night fundraising event she had organised.

Ms Jin, who represents the Lochar ward on Dumfries and Galloway Council, claims she was targeted for setting up the traditional Scottish event when she had no Scottish roots. She raised the matter with the party’s HQ in Edinburgh but said she was left disappointed that no action was taken almost six months on.

The councillor, who plans to run as an independent candidate in next year’s Scottish parliamentary elections, yesterday reported the matter to police.

The e-mail response sent to her included the lines: “Bunch of arseholes – supposedly Scottish too”, “They can stick their club right up their rectum” and “Pity we have to suffer them at Palmy.”

Ms Jin said the incident had left her “isolated” and with no option but to resign.

She said: “I was organising a Burns night. One member replied to me with a very rude and vulgar e-mail attached. It’s a reply to my invitation and sent directly to me.

“Because I’m involved in a multicultural campaign, they know we have lots of multicultural people in our branch. He is accusing me of not being Scottish and organising a Scottish event. I was quite shocked.

“To me, it’s a racist attack and discrimination and undermining my position and abilities. I forwarded the e-mail to the branch convener at the time and the branch convener forwarded it to the corporate and compliance manager at party HQ.

“I wanted some reassurance from the party, but they completely ignored my complaint. They asked for the original e-mail and then I had no further response.”

Ms Jin went on: “At least they could have contacted me to say that this is being dealt with. I just feel isolated. They are trying to shove it under the carpet. If the party knows about it and they don’t take any action, how can they prove that they are not discriminating?

“The way I’ve been treated is definitely racist. It’s disgusting. I have handed it in to police.”

Ms Jin, who was elected in 2012, stepped down from the party last month citing “irreconcilable differences”. But she said her decision came as a result of the party’s failure to deal with the matter.

Ms Jin, who was born in China’s Zheijang province but moved to Scotland in 2003, will now continue her political career as an independent candidate.

She added: “The SNP has let me down and consistently failed in its duty of care towards me.”

“It takes strength to stand up against evil and I’m doing it for myself and thousands of other people from other cultures who compose this country.”

A spokesman for the SNP said: “We understand this is a police matter and it would be inappropriate to comment further”.