MP Natalie McGarry served with writ over holocaust claim

Natalie McGarry. Picture: John Devlin
Natalie McGarry. Picture: John Devlin
Have your say

THE GLASGOW East MP Natalie McGarry is being taken to court over her failure to “adequately” apologise for wrongly accusing a leading unionist campaigner of being a “holocaust denier”.

Solicitors acting on behalf of Alastair Cameron, the director of Scotland in Union, have served a writ after the former SNP MP failed to respond to a written request for a “full, public and sincere apology” and an agreed charitable donation.

It is not acceptable for an MP, in a position of power, to make such an awful accusation and then just brush it off

Scotland in Union’s Alastair Cameron

The row centres on a tweet posted by Ms McGarry, which said: “Leading unionist figures do know that ‘Scotland in Union’ is headed by an internet troll and an outed holocaust denier, right?”

Her claim was rejected by Scotland in Union, a non-party movement established to keep Scotland in the UK.

Ms McGarry later deleted her tweet and posted another saying: “I’d add however, that you should be careful who is distributing your materials, but apologies etc.”

Yesterday Mr Cameron, a former Army officer who served in The Highlanders, said Ms McGarry had not gone far enough.

• READ MORE: JK Rowling says she may sue MP Natalie McGarry

Mr Cameron said: “Reluctantly, I have been forced to take this action because of Ms McGarry’s failure to respond to my request for an appropriate apology for her offensive and inaccurate comments on Twitter. It is not acceptable for a Member of Parliament, in a public position of power and responsibility, to make such an awful accusation against someone and then simply brush it off.

“I am still optimistic that we can resolve this quickly and amicably, and my solicitors await a response from her. We look forward to drawing a line under this regrettable incident and moving on from smears and unfounded accusations to a more decent and respectful political discourse in Scotland.”

Ms McGarry was elected last year as a SNP MP, but resigned the party whip amid allegations of missing money from the accounts of the campaign group Women for Independence.

In January, she used Twitter to allege that JK Rowling defended “abusive misogynist trolls” on the website, prompting warnings from the Harry Potter author that she would take legal action. The MP said sorry to Ms Rowling almost three weeks later.

Last month Ms McGarry was detained by Turkish security forces less than 80 miles from the Syrian border after she took out her phone at a security check point. Yesterday Ms McGarry’s lawyer, Aamer Anwar, said: “Having spoken to Ms McGarry this morning, she has confirmed that no writ has been served on her. There will be no further comment.”

Future Scotland: Scotland’s tech sector, innovation and big ideas >>