SNP student member admits email mistake

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A member of the SNP’s student wing has admitted “going too far” after she sent an email to a women’s group claiming that Labour MP Ian Davidson had a history of bullying women.

Gail Lythgoe sent an email to the Scottish Women’s Budget Group, which promotes gender equality, in which she described Mr Davidson as having a “history of bullying and intimidation, particularly towards females” .

However Ms Lythgoe has since admitted that she had gone “further than I should have done”.

The email is the latest in the row over remarks Mr Davidson made to female MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford in which he used the word “doing”.  The remarks have led to Dr Whiteford refusing to sit on the Scottish Affairs Committee which Mr Davidson chairs unless he steps down.

Explaining her mistake Ms Lythgoe said: “As a young woman, I was angered by Mr Davidson’s comments to Eilidh Whiteford and sought to demonstrate against them.

“I regret that, in my email, I went further than I should have done.”

The Labour party has seized on the email error, and claimed the SNP were using the internet to spread smears.

Labour MSP Paul Martin said: “I am glad Gail Lythgoe acknowledges her behaviour was unacceptable.

“It follows that the SNP must take robust disciplinary action to root out this behaviour from their party and serve as a clear sign that smears are unacceptable.

“The case for a full investigation into the ethics and operation of the SNP student wing is now unanswerable.”

The minor spat happened on the same day that Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie was forced to issue an apology over an offensive image that was published on his official facebook page. 

The SNP has insisted that politicians need to take a step back and focus on matters important to the people of Scotland.  A spokesman for the First Minister said: “It is surely time for all political parties to take a step back and remember that the issues that matter to people most are jobs, crime and the future of Scotland”.