SNP candidate Julie McAnulty in racism row

Julie McAnulty. Picture: submitted
Julie McAnulty. Picture: submitted
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AN SNP councillor who hopes to be elected as an MSP in May is being investigated by party officials following allegations she used racist language in a conversation with another nationalist activist.

Julie McAnulty, who represents the Coatbridge North and Glenboig ward on North Lanarkshire Council, is an SNP candidate in Central Scotland for May’s Holyrood elections.

Sheena McCulloch, an SNP member for almost 40 years, complained to the party leadership about alleged comments made when she and Ms McAnulty were driving home from canvassing votes.

Ms McAnulty is alleged to have said that she wants to “get the Pakis out of the party”, according to documents submitted to SNP officials.

The details of the allegation are said to have been outlined in an official complaint lodged with the SNP’s compliance officer, Ian McCann.

Ms McCulloch has been quoted as saying the exchange took place in July last year as the pair were campaigning for the SNP in a North Lanarkshire council by-election.

She was driving Ms McAnulty back from a canvassing session in Birkenshaw, when it is alleged remarks were made.

The complaint says: “On the journey back, Julie was asking me about the trouble and in fighting in the Bellshill branch and asked for my view on the trouble in Coatbridge.

“During this discussion Julie made a comment which I found to be unacceptable. She asked if I agreed with her that it was in her words the ‘Pakis’ that were causing the problems locally and that we needed to get rid of them out of the party.

“I outlined immediately that I was not happy with her comment as I know and respect many Muslim members locally. I informed her that what she said was unacceptable and that I considered many of the people she was referring to as friends.

“For the remainder of the journey she did not speak to me. Ever since this day Julie has ignored me and refused to speak to me.”

The SNP confirmed that it had received a complaint from Ms McCulloch and said it was looking into the allegations made against Ms McAnulty.

An SNP spokesman said: “The SNP takes a zero tolerance approach to racism in any form.

“We have received Ms McCulloch’s complaint and are examining the claims she makes.”

Ms McAnulty has not been suspended by the SNP from party membership.

She was unavailable for comment last night.

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