JK Rowling abuse ‘may be work of secret service’

SNP MSP Christina McKelvie says that the recent torrent of online abuse directed at JK Rowling was the work of “secret service plants”.

SNP MSP Christina McKelvie
SNP MSP Christina McKelvie

The nationalist member for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse argued, in a piece in her local newspaper, that many of abusive tweets made to the Harry Potter author could not be traced back to the nationalist movement.

The Harry Potter author was the subject of a social media backlash after coming out last week in support of the continuation of the United Kingdom in its present form and pledging £1m to the Better Together campaign.

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In the Hamilton Advertiser, the MSP wrote: “The attacks on JK Rowling for her donation to Better Together were, in fact, down to a very few people whose accounts no one could trace back to having anything to do with the Yes campaign,” said Ms McKelvie, who chairs Holyrood’s European and External Relations Committee.

“Whoever made them – there are interesting conspiracy theorists who think it might all have been down to secret service plants – should be totally condemned. I have no time for this kind of small-minded viciousness.”

Jim Sillars, former SNP deputy leader, also suggested British spies may be actively working against the independence campaign.

“Are you unaware of the role agent provocateurs, special branch and MI5 have played in undermining us?” Mr Sillars wrote in an open letter to cybernats.

“Are you so naive, that you never think that perhaps MI5 and special branch are taking a role in this campaign? As their function is protection of the British State, they would not be doing their jobs if they were not.”

Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, a former Scottish MP and minister, asked Justice Minister Lord Faulks called for improved legislation following the abusive tweets sent to JK Rowling.

At question time in the House of Lords, he said: “Are you aware of the vile, personal internet abuse heaped on supporters of the union in Scotland including JK Rowling the author merely for giving £1 million toward Better Together? Will you condemn this?”

And he questioned whether some legislation could be introduced “to protect all of us who suffer such attacks”.