A senior SNP general election candidate has demanded an apology after she was branded a derogatory word in an image shared by one of her opponents.
Joanna Cherry QC, who will defend her Edinburgh South West seat at the poll on December 12, called for Labour candidate Frances Carmel Hoole to engage instead in “respectful debate”.
In a now-deleted post shared on Twitter, Hoole shared a crude graphic featuring a picture of Cherry with the caption “Bang! And the terf is gone”.
TERF, an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist, is widely considered to be an insult by many women campaigning for sex-based rights.
Cherry, the SNP’s justice and home affairs spokeswoman, said: “Earlier this year I received a death threat and a storm of misogynistic abuse for defending women’s rights.
“The Scottish Labour candidate standing against me in Edinburgh South West thinks it’s funny. I hope she will apologise and engage in respectful debate.”
Hoole, a care worker standing in her first general election, responded: “You’re not defending women’s rights unless you defend trans rights. Please respect what you are being told by advocacy groups.
“You should never receive abuse or threats. Not from me or anyone else.
“I didn’t perceive this as a threat so I apologise I didn’t see it that way.”
She later added: “Hope Joanna Cherry will do me the courtesy of reminding her followers not to ironically pile on me with abuse. I took it down and said sorry for not seeing it. It’s your turn to come out against abuse too.”
Edinburgh South West is considered the most marginal seat in the Scottish capital.
Once held by Labour heavyweight Alistair Darling, the seat was claimed by the SNP upon his retiral in 2015.
But Cherry saw her majority of 8135 slashed to 1097 at the 2017 general election, with the Tories claiming second place.