Scottish Conservative’s investigation into councillor who made BLM-Nazi comparison has collapsed
Colin McGavigan was originally suspended in late June last year after he compared a photo of a sportswoman who did not kneel as part of a Black Lives Matter (BLM) tribute with a 1936 image of a German man who refused to give a Nazi salute to Hitler.
Mr McGavigan, who represents the Clydesdale South ward on South Lanarkshire Council, wrote on Facebook that the athlete would be “acknowledged as one who didn’t bow to the narrative when it was the easy thing to do.”
Kneeling before sporting events or during medal ceremonies, known as “taking the knee”, is a common way that athletes show support for the BLM movement.
Mr McGavigan, a practising Catholic, was also being investigated for a Facebook post about different racial portrayals of the Holy Family.
The 55-year-old, who was first elected in 2017, quit the party in November last year.
On Monday, a spokesperson for the Scottish Conservatives confirmed that its probe into his conduct had since collapsed.
They said: “Mr McGavigan resigned while an investigation was under way, which meant it couldn’t be concluded.”
Explaining his decision to forfeit his membership, Mr McGavigan told The Scotsman that the party’s investigation into his social media posts “just didn’t come to a head.”
He said: “It went on for five months and would have gone on longer. It seemed sensible to draw it to a conclusion.”
He insisted that his resignation was “certainly not a protest at the party”, and that there was “no animosity whatsoever”.
Mr McGavigan added that he “absolutely stands by” his Facebook post about the athlete’s decision not “take the knee”.
“I still don’t see it as anything other than raising a question. I didn’t say she was right, and I didn’t say she was wrong,” he explained.
He now sits as an independent on South Lanarkshire Council.
In 2010, Mr McGavigan, then the Scottish Conservatives candidate the Clydesdale seat in Holyrood, was forced to apologise after he referred to carers as “the great unwashed.”
He later insisted he had the “utmost respect” for carers in a statement issued by the party.
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