Labour candidate facing questions after crude Twitter message uncovered


By a Newsnet reporter
A Labour candidate standing in the same ward as disgraced former SNP candidate Lyall Duff, is facing questions after an offensive message was uncovered that appeared to have been posted on his twitter account.
The account, belonging to Labour’s Alan Clinch, apparently shows a re-tweeted message that describes a crude sexual act along with veiled references to breast cancer.

The message, originally posted in October 2009 by an American writer and comedian Kevin Smith, contained sexual remarks related to the possible after-effects of cancer.

According to an image obtained by Newsnet Scotland the message was re-posted on Mr Clinch’s twitter account on 4th October 2009.  The message is no longer visible on the account which has had several tweets recently deleted.  However it can still be viewed using a specialist internet search facility.

The re-tweet, which Newsnet Scotland has decided to reproduce in full, despite the sexually explicit language, is shown below:

‘Pony Up’ is a slang term meaning to pay your part of the cost.  It is thought that the original message was a crude attempt at persuading men to offer financial assistance to help partners pay for breast cancer treatment.

Newsnet Scotland contacted both Mr Clinch and the Scottish Labour party inviting them to comment on the message.  We also informed the party of our intention to publish this article.

However as of midnight Saturday we have received no acknowledgement of our message from either Scottish Labour or 31 year old Mr Clinch, who is treasurer of Motherwell & Wishaw CLP.

The Murdostoun ward in which Mr Clinch is standing as a candidate in the forthcoming local elections, is ironically, the same North Lanarkshire ward from which former SNP candidate Lyall Duff was suspended after offensive comments were alleged to have been posted on his Facebook account.

Mr Duff caused outrage after he posted messages calling two Midwives “money grabbing old witches” after they objected to treating women who had gone through abortions.  He also called for branches of the Royal Bank of Scotland to be burned.  Mr Duff was suspended from the party before subsequently resigning from the SNP.

Mr Duff’s comments featured prominently throughout the Scottish media.  Commenting at the time, Alan Clinch’s Labour colleague and fellow election candidate Nicky Shevlin attacked Mr Duff and said: “This is pretty shocking stuff.  I don’t think people in Murdostoun want a man with views like that representing our area.  Leaving aside party preference, he just isn’t fit to hold public office.  A councillor has to represent everyone in the ward, even people they don’t share the same political opinions as.”

There will now be pressure for Labour to hold an investigation into how this twitter message came to be connected with Mr Clinch’s twitter account.  If Mr Clinch is found to have deliberately re-tweeted such a highly offensive message, Scottish Labour will come under pressure to take action.

View old twitter messages here using this internet tool: