Sacked minister Gillian Martin: I was victim of ‘game playing’

Sacked Scottish minister Gillian Martin
Sacked Scottish minister Gillian Martin
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Sacked minister Gillian Martin suggested she was the victim of “game playing” after she took up a new post chairing a Holyrood committee.

The SNP MSP has been appointed convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee.

The appointment was made just over two months after she was removed as higher education minister before her appointment could be ratified.

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Ms Martin, MSP for Aberdeenshire East, departed Nicola Sturgeon’s government after the emergence of “offensive” blog posts in which she used derogatory language to describe transgender people and black people.

In an interview with the Press and Journal, Ms Martin suggested that criticism she had received was “to score political points rather than being personal”.

When asked about change in forturne, she said: “From my perspective, I think that a majority of people in this place (Holyrood) – although there is game playing going on in the chamber – know when it is a game and it is something that has been done to score political points rather than being personal.

“Even those that took things at face value when it happened have since had time to reflect on it and found out about the background, about what I actually was and wasn’t.”

Ms Sturgeon removed Ms Martin from Government after the contents of her 2007 blog were publicised.

In it, the Aberdeenshire East MSP asked whether efforts to promote transgender rights would lead to images of “hairy knuckled, lipstick wearing transitional laydees (sic)” appearing in colleges.

She also referred to an EU “tranny trove” of cash.

Ms Martin also wrote in her blog about college PR staff using disabled people in photo opportunities.

She wrote: “(They) froth at the mouth with excitement if anyone in a wheelchair does anything that can be remotely described as an achievement.”

Ms Martin also described how she had been told that “American Jews” were known to “tip OK, but only if you’ve absolutely busted your hump and everything was faultless in the extreme”.

She also said “American Blacks” were “to be avoided” by waiters becaue they do not tip and that “the waiters (also black, remember) would do anything to avoid serving a table of blacks or be disappointed if allocated one”.

A Lib Dem spokesperson said: “Gillian Martin is attempting to rewrite history here. Her behaviour fell far below the expectations people rightly have for those who hold public office.

“She must take responsibility for the screeds of deeply offensive comments, which she, as an adult, chose to write and publicly share over a period of time.

“To suggest she has been the victim in this instance is offensive.”