The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition)

Woman tells of shock at abusive messages


A woman subjected to a “personal attack” which led to a Dundee councillor being suspended has said residents should be allowed to ask questions of their local authority without facing abuse.

Lorraine Nutt contacted Dundee City Council with concerns about the wording of their policies, unaware that her message would lead to multiple run-ins with one of the administra­tion’s most prominent figures.

She said: “I got in touch with the council in relation to the fact that they were stating word ‘gender’ rather than ‘sex’ in their policies, and also the fact that Councillor Murray had said online that sex was not a protected characteri­stic, that the protected characteri­stic was gender. This is just completely incorrect. Given that (Gregor Murray) was the equalities officer at the time, that was actually quite an important mistake.”

Mrs Nutt’s email was forwarded to Gregor Murray by a council official, and the councillor then hit out at her comments on social media, branding her a “Terf”.

The Dundee resident spoke of her shock yesterday after receiving abusive messages from the former equalities spokespers­on.

She said: “I was shocked because regardless of whether you disagree with someone or not, or whether you have strong feelings about how much you disagree with someone, people in that position should be able to express themselves.

“I wasn’t asking Gregor Murray to agree with me, I wasn’t asking Gregor Murray to do anything in fact. I should have been able to have a reasonable correspond­ence with the council without being called names and condemned as a Terf, and all the other things.”

Mrs Nutt said any abuse Gregor Murray has received online is “totally wrong” but stressed that she has not been part of that abuse, and that this should not have affected any response she received.

She praised the commission’s findings, adding: “I’m pleased that they have come to the conclusion that this wasn’t OK, and that the behaviour wasn’t acceptable from a councillor.”

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