THE city councillor at the centre of a row over Twitter remarks about Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has been summoned to meet Labour group leader Cammy Day over his conduct today.
Scott Arthur, Labour councillor for Colinton/Fairmilehead has publicly apologised after causing offence with a mock poll asking if Mr Yousaf was attracted to politics by the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War or the photo calls.
Mr Yousaf wrote to Cllr Day, urging him to investigate the comments and Cllr Arthur’s motivations and calling for him to be suspended while that happens.
In his letter to Cllr Day, Mr Yousaf said: “I know, like me, you deplore Islamophobia, bigotry and any form of hatred. I was deeply upset and angry at the tweet from Cllr Arthur. I believe he has made insinuations about my motivations for getting into politics based on my faith.
“While I am used to being trolled on social media regarding my faith and race, I would not have expected this from a Labour councillor.
“I would question whether he would have written such a tweet had I been a non-Muslim and had I been white. To me it is clear he would not have.
“All of us in politics have a responsibility to ensure we use our language appropriately and that we do not incite or stir hatred, be that inadvertent or otherwise.
“I therefore look forward to hearing from you on the actions you will be taking against Cllr Arthur following his reprehensible social media activity.”
Cllr Day told Mr Yousaf on Twitter last night: “I’ve instructed Cllr Arthur to meet with me tomorrow to discuss this and will meet with you as soon as you are able.”
Cllr Scott has explained he posted the “poll” after reading that Mr Yousaf had been inconsistent in explaining why he entered politics. He said his action in creating the poll had been cynical, but insisted it was not based on race or faith. “I’d have thought the same about any political figure,” he said.
Edinburgh South West SNP MP Joanna Cherry joined in the row with a tweet of her own: “Only two weeks ago I met with constituents to discuss their experience of Islamophobia & how I can help them. Politicians of all parties should unite to oppose this phenomenon & be mindful of their civic responsibilities.”
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