A Labour peer who once compared nationalists to Holocaust deniers has caused outrage after using the shocking rape of a 14 year old girl in order to attack the SNP.
In a tweet yesterday, Labour peer George Foulkes said: “Horsemeat in school dinners,14 year old raped in City bus & Orkney firm in administration yet all we hear from SNP Govt. is more on Indyref!”
The tweet follows news that a 14 year old girl was raped on a Glasgow bus by two men last Friday evening. The shocking story emerged one week after the alleged offence took place.
However the defiant former Scottish Labour MP and MSP refused to apologise for the tweet and responded to criticisms of his online comment by launching a further attack on Scottish Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill, saying: “Many people are getting fed up with Kenny MacAskill’s complacency as our so-called Justice Minister.”
The tweet follows a similar episode just over a year ago when the same Labour peer described people who questioned Labour’s version of how Devolution was achieved as holocaust deniers.
Tweeting at the time, Lord Foulkes said: “CyberNat myth that Devolution was forced on the Labour Govt. by EU or Council of Europe (stories vary) is akin to Holocaust denial”
The decision by Lord Foulkes to use a rape in order to attack the Scottish government follows a similar episode in the Holyrood chamber in 2011 when then Deputy leader of Scottish Labour, Johann Lamont, cited what she claimed was a description of a recent rape case.
Ms Lamont, who is now Scottish Labour leader, described the experiences of a rape victim who had recently been humiliated when giving evidence in court. The Labour MSP used the incident in order to attack the Scottish government over rape conviction rates. Her comments led to an investigation by authorities.
However, following investigations by the Crown Office it transpired that there was no such recent court case. A statement released by the Crown Office described the story of the rape victim as “unsubstantiated” and added:
“Should it be the case that this story has no substance it is clearly a matter of serious concern as to what the impact of this might be for those who are the victims of such crimes, but might now be discouraged from reporting such crimes as a result of what they have read in this story.”
The episode resulted in the Evening Times, which had originally published the article containing details of the apparent court case, apologising. The newspaper was condemned by Rape Crisis Scotland who criticised the wording of the subsequent apology as “just as damaging”.
Newsnet Scotland understands that no such apology or correction has ever been issued by Johann Lamont.