The woman who received abusive messages from suspended Dundee councillor Gregor Murray says females should be able to express themselves “without fear of being called vile names”.
Lorraine Nutt, 45, was speaking following a hearing at which Councillor Murray was found guilty of being in breach of the councillors’ code of conduct by the Standards Commission.
Murray has been suspended as a councillor, banning the councillor from committee meetings of the local authority for two months.
Murray did not appear in person before the ethics watchdog to answer allegations of using “insulting and offensive language” towards a member of the public.
The councillor was found guilty by the panel of using the swear word “c…” in a public tweet.
Murray was also found to have referred to Ms Nutt as a TERF – “trans- exclusionary radical feminist”.
The panel found that Murray had not apologised to Ms Nutt.
In a statement, Murray claimed to have apologised for swearing and that the matter had already been dealt with.
Councillor Murray described the panel’s decision as a “miscarriage of justice”.
Ms Nutt said: “I think the panel came to the right decision and I am happy to go along with that.
“I am also content to abide by and am satisfied with the decision and subsequent sanction handed out by the panel.
“On a personal basis, I believe that a woman should be allowed to express herself without being called abusive names.”
Meanwhile, the leader of the the Labour opposition party on Dundee City Council said he believed Councillor Murray “had been hung out to dry” by the councillor’s own party, the SNP.
Kevin Keenan, pictured below, said: “Councillor Murray has undoubtedly made a mistake but I don’t want to kick the councillor any further.
“Councillor Murray has been hung out to dry by the SNP.
“Councillor Murray has contributed significantly to the SNP but the party has abandoned the councillor when its help, guidance and support was needed.”
In their written decision, the panel said: “The panel accepted that Scotland’s only openly trans elected representative has suffered from unwarranted bullying and abuse and that they are determined to stand up for the trans community.
“However, the panel was satisfied the councillor had directed the term at the complainer as an individual and that it was about her as a person.
“The panel further determined that the use of the ‘c’ word in a pubic forum such as a tweet was highly offensive and inappropriate, regardless of whether it had been directed at any individual or identifiable group of individuals.”
The panel added: “The panel was concerned that the respondent had failed to demonstrate any insight into the impact their behaviour may have had on the complainer (Ms Nutt).”
A spokesman for Dundee City Council said the authority would not be commenting on the outcome.
Councillor Murray’s statement on the decision, in full.
On twitter, via the handle @grogipher, councillor Murray said:
“I am severely disappointed in the decision made today by the Standards Commission, which I believe to be a miscarriage of justice.
“I entirely accept that it is not appropriate for me to swear – I have apologised for this on numerous occasions and have already accepted sanctions for doing so.
“I am also extremely worried by the precedent they have set that trans-exclusionary radical feminist is an offensive term. This moves back trans people’s rights in Scotland even further and is already being celebrated by transphobic people like Joan McAlpine MSP.
“I am disgusted at the expectations of the panel that I should apologise…for calling out transphobia.
“That conclusion is heinous. The situation for trans people in Scotland right now is awful, and for a hearing to conclude the victims here are the anti-trans campaigners flies in the face of all interpretations of justice and fairness.
“We have a problem in Scotland where trans people will not put themselves forward for elected positions. This decision today makes that situation worse.
“This complaint has been going on for more than 10 months now and I am sad this is not the end of it.
“I will be taking professional advice as to what my next steps are, when my health permits.”