HOOPSA-DAISY!

Coun­cil Leader says sorry after rally pics tweet storm

Hamilton Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - STEPHEN BARK

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil Leader John Ross has faced fierce crit­i­cism over a tweet he made at the week­end.

The Hamil­ton South coun­cil­lor caused up­roar among op­po­si­tion coun­cil­lors and of­fended many res­i­dents within the town.

He at­tended Satur­day’s in­de­pen­dence rally in Glas­gow city cen­tre and tweeted a pho­to­graph of a ban­ner which stated: “Ram yer union up yer hoop”.

The post also showed an im­age of a Union Flag stuck into a pile of poo.

As well as post­ing the images, Cllr Ross also wrote “the per­fect an­swer to our union­ist friends”.

The Labour, Con­ser­va­tive and Lib Dem groups in South La­nark­shire have all crit­i­cised the SNP coun­cil leader for the tweet, which he has since deleted.

Some mem­bers of the pub­lic have called for his res­ig­na­tion, al­though oth­ers backed him.

Coun­cil­lor Ross this week apol­o­gised to any­one who was of­fended by his post.

He said: “I re­spect that other peo­ple may not share my po­lit­i­cal views and will be care­ful to take cog­nizance of this in any fu­ture tweets.”

He added:

“I never in­tended to of­fend and my apolo­gies go to any­one who was of­fended.”

Coun­cil Leader John Ross has been slammed for send­ing a con­tro­ver­sial tweet with “the per­fect an­swer to our union­ist friends”.

Cllr Ross, who rep­re­sents Hamil­ton South, at­tended Satur­day’s in­de­pen­dence rally in Glas­gow, where he cap­tured and tweeted two pho­to­graphs which have since drawn con­dem­na­tion from op­po­si­tion coun­cil­lors.

The pho­tos high­lighted ban­ners on dis­play dur­ing the rally, one of which stated: “Ram yer union up yer hoop.”

The other de­picted a pile of poo with a Union Jack fly­ing from it.

Lib­eral Demo­crat group leader Robert Brown and Labour group leader Joe Fagan have both crit­i­cised the SNP coun­cil leader for the tweet.

Cllr Brown (Ruther­glen South) said: “I re­ally don’t know what Coun­cil­lor Ross is think­ing of in push­ing th­ese child­ish and of­fen­sive tweets on so­cial me­dia.

“Sadly it is not the first time that we have had such stuff from the SNP leader of South La­nark­shire Coun­cil.

“Un­pleas­ant com­ments like this show an ar­ro­gance and con­tempt for the views of other peo­ple we can do with­out – peo­ple are al­ready bit­terly di­vided by the in­de­pen­dence is­sue and by Brexit with­out se­nior SNP rep­re­sen­ta­tives stok­ing the fires of re­sent­ment and prej­u­dice.

“John Ross should recog­nise that the coun­cil leader rep­re­sents ev­ery­one and stop be­ing a cheer­leader for the more un­pleas­ant parts of his na­tion­al­ist cause.”

Cllr Fagan (East Kil­bride Cen­tral North) added: “John Ross is per­fectly en­ti­tled to his opin­ions about in­de­pen­dence, but as Leader of the Coun­cil he has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to ev­ery­one in South La­nark­shire, whether they voted Yes or No. He needs to re­mem­ber that be­fore he fires off an­other one of his tweets.”

Speak­ing for the Con­ser­va­tive group, Coun­cil­lor Jared Wark (Ruther­glen Cen­tral & North), said: “This tweet is un­ac­cept­able and falls be­low the stan­dard. Coun­cil­lor Ross, as Leader of the Coun­cil, has once again badly let down SLC by mak­ing it clear how he feels about the ma­jor­ity of its res­i­dents who do not share his views on in­de­pen­dence.”

Cllr Ross has deleted the tweet and apol­o­gised

He said: “I was one of the thou­sands of peo­ple who took part in last week­end’s in­de­pen­dence rally.

“My sup­port for in­de­pen­dence is well known, hav­ing been a mem­ber of the SNP since 1973, and I am proud to be part of the cam­paign for an­other in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum.

“It is very clear to me that the UK is presently in a mess and that Scotland would be bet­ter off out of the Union, and that was the essence of the mes­sages on the posters that I tweeted from the rally.

“How­ever, the word­ing and images were not the sort of thing I would use my­self and when I had a chance to re­flect on this, I de­cided to delete the tweet from my time­line.

“I re­spect that other peo­ple may not share my po­lit­i­cal views and will be care­ful to take cog­nizance of this in any fu­ture tweets.

“I’m fully com­mit­ted to do­ing the best that I can for South La­nark­shire and all its res­i­dents, re­gard­less of their po­lit­i­cal views or none.

“Cer­tainly, I never in­tended to of­fend and my apolo­gies go to any­one who was of­fended.”

All coun­cil­lors are sub­ject to the Stan­dard’s Com­mis­sion for Scotland’s code of con­duct and re­ceive so­cial me­dia ad­vice as part of train­ing based on the code.

Cllr Ross tweeted from his per­sonal ac­count and did not tweet in con­nec­tion with his role as leader of South La­nark­shire Coun­cil.

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil de­clined to com­ment.

Un­pleas­ant com­ments like this show ar­ro­gance and con­tempt for views of other peo­ple

Con­tro­versy Lo­cal politi­cians hit out after SLC leader John Ross tweeted pics from rally

Pic­ture this Cllr John Ross posted th­ese images from a rally on his per­sonal Twit­ter ac­count

Apol­ogy Coun­cil Leader John Ross deleted tweet from his ac­count

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