The top Conservative candidate in Scotland in this week’s European elections has been forced to apologise over a Facebook post.
Ian Duncan deleted a post on a photo of a Chinese woman in Aberdeen walking with a cat which said: “Her lunch, presumably.”
The comment is thought to be a reference to the urban myth that meat from domestic pets is served in restaurants in China.
Edinburgh-based Mr Duncan, who holds a PhD in paleontology, had come under pressure from figures within the SNP. He is a former head of Policy and Communication at the Scottish Refugee Council and served as clerk to the Scottish Parliament’s European and External Relations Committee until he stepped down last year to run for the European Parliament.
A Scottish Tory spokesman said: “Ian made an off-the-cuff remark that wasn’t meant to be taken seriously. He apologises profusely for any offence that may have been taken.”
But Mr Duncan said that he did not think the post was offensive. “I was teasing an old friend there,” he said. “It was very much a private matter. It was about a cat and that’s that. Certainly no offence was intended, none whatever.”