She's no more of a bigot than I am claims Cumbernauld councillor

Councillor Alan O'Brien has leapt to the defence of another elected representative who has been accused of racism at North Lanarkshire Council.

Thursday, 18th February 2016, 10:11 am
Updated Thursday, 18th February 2016, 10:14 am

Motherwell Civic Centre has been rocked by claims that Coatbridge-based Scottish Nationalist Julie McAnulty used derogatory terms about fellow Scottish Nationalists who are Muslim.

Ms McAnulty is now under investigation by the party but Councillor O’Brien has taken to Facebook, stating that she has merely befallen the same fate which led to him standing on an independent ticket.

Councillor O’Brien was famously accused of making homophobic remarks and ultimately left the SNP group in 2011 as a result.

Councillor O’Brien has always denied making those remarks and has stated that the same SNP members involved are trying to end Ms McAnulty’s political career – including her bid to stand for the Holyrood elections in May.

He claimed: “It’s a fit-up of epic proportions. This stinks to high heaven.

“I don’t believe for a minute that Julie McAnulty made these comments.

“Apart from being a truly hard working and ethical councillor, she is a ridiculously nice person.

“Like me she was targeted and plastered all over the papers.”

The councillor believes that the SNP cannot put its own house in order, as smear campaigns continue at the Civic Centre.

He claimed: “I fear SNP headquarters will find it more expedient to hang out a good person to dry rather than sorting out the cringeworthy cesspit that is North Lanarkshire’s SNP group.”

NLC said it will not comment as it is a party matter.

SNP group leader Councillor David Stocks also declined to comment as he said this was a matter for the party’s headquarters.

However, he claimed that Councillor O’Brien’s comments could not be taken seriously.

A spokesperson from SNP headquarters in Edinburgh would not be drawn on the claims that there were issues with its members at civic centre.

He then confirmed that Ms McAnulty was under “administrative suspension” and would not comment further.