Scottish election 2021: Former Scottish Labour candidate for Glasgow Kelvin quits social media after being mentioned in BBC leaders’ debate

A Scottish Labour activist and former party candidate has left social media after Tuesday night’s BBC leaders’ debate.

Hollie Cameron told followers on Twitter that she was deleting the app after rival party leaders Nicola Sturgeon and Anas Sarwar clashed over her treatment during the event.

In March, Ms Cameron found herself at the centre of a row when she was dropped as Labour’s candidate for Glasgow Kelvin for backing calls for a second independence referendum within the next Parliament.

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It is understood there were concerns among party officials as to whether she would follow the Labour whip over when a second vote might be held.

‘She needs to listen to Yes voters’

Ms Cameron, who has remained a vocal campaigner for Scottish Labour since her deselection, was referenced during Tuesday’s debate in a heated exchange on independence between her party leader and the First Minister.

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Mr Sarwar referred to polls suggesting a majority of Scots oppose holding a second referendum within the next Parliament, telling moderator Glenn Campbell: “I know Nicola doesn't want to listen to No voters, but she needs to listen to Yes voters.”

Hollie Cameron told followers on Twitter that she was deleting the app after Nicola Sturgeon and Anas Sarwar clashed over her treatment during the event.

Hitting back, Ms Sturgeon said: “[Anas Sarwar] says he doesn't care whether people are Yes or No, that he wants to appeal to everybody, but one of the very first things Anas did when it became leader was sack a candidate simply because she said it was up to the people of Scotland to decide.”

In a message to Twitter followers immediately after the debate, Ms Cameron wrote that she was “deleting this app for a while”.

Approached for comment by The Scotsman, the 29-year-old said it was “hurtful” to see her deselection “used as a weapon against political opponents.”

“After Nicola Sturgeon raised it again on Tuesday night, I began to see comments about it on my timeline, so I’ve removed myself from the site for my own mental health.”

Mr Sarwar referred to polls suggesting a majority of Scots oppose holding a second referendum within the next Parliament.

Ms Cameron said she faced “sinister comments questioning my integrity and motivations”, adding that she was worried about other women and young people in politics, and “how someone who doesn’t have my support network might deal with insults and abuse on Twitter.

"I intend to stay active in Scottish Labour and on twitter even if I may need to take the occasional break for my own wellbeing.”

She added: “If I were able to say anything to activists who are insulted and abused on twitter it would be this; it’s not acceptable, you’re not alone and no-one is entitled to your attention.

‘Keyboard warriors’

Her decision to leave Twitter site comes amid growing calls from politicians for social media giants to do more to tackle online abuse.

On Tuesday, Alba Party leader Alex Salmond said so-called “keyboard warriors” were an issue for all parties to address.

“It doesn’t reflect the best of politics,” he said.

Meanwhile, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross backed a campaign last week led by football clubs that warned Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to take stronger action against discrimination.

Mr Ross said: “It will only change if we all call it out and I’m pleased to be able to play my small part in doing so.”

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