Joanna Cherry's Edinburgh South West Labour opponent removed over controversial 'terf' Twitter post

Candidate says row over meme would have followed he throughout campaign

Thursday, 7th November 2019, 12:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th November 2019, 1:07 pm
Joanna Cherry had a majority of 1097 at the last election
Joanna Cherry had a majority of 1097 at the last election

LABOUR has fired its candidate in Edinburgh South West after she posted a controversial image on Twitter referring to SNP rival Joanna Cherry.

Frances Hoole posted a graphic featuring a picture of Cherry with the caption “Bang! And the terf is gone”.

TERF, an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist, is widely considered to be an insult by many women campaigning for sex-based rights.

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Frances Hoole apologised for posting the meme

Ms Hoole apologised, but the party has now removed her and begun the process of finding a new candidate to stand in the seat where Ms Cherry had a majority of 1097 over the Tories in 2017, with Labour in third place.

Ms Hoole told the Evening News she accepted it was right for her to stand down.

She said: "I am genuinely really sorry I posted it. I'm sorry about the violent content.

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"I apologised about the actual content of the meme. It was silly, I posted it without looking very hard at it."

And she said if she continued as candidate the issue would not go away.

"It's too big. I don't think it would do any good for it continuing to be brought up.

"The issue is more important than the mistake I've made.

"I don't want to continue with a campaign where I'm just talking about a picture instead of what's going on. That's a waste of everyone's time."

But she said she would remain active. "I will be out supporting the next candidate."

A Labour source said concerns had been raised about the meme posted by Ms Hoole at a meeting of the party's Scottish executive committee and she had been interviewed about it.

"They decided she was no longer a suitable candidate."

The source said: "What really concerned people was the use of the word 'terf'. Some people find it grossly offensive."

It is understood Ms Hoole was the only contender when a candidate was being chosen for Edinburgh South West, but there are said to be "two or three" now interested in taking over the role.

Ms Cherry said it had taken time for Labour to act on the post, but they had reached the right decision.

She said: "Her abusive behaviour fell far short of what the public would expect of someone wishing to represent the people of Edinburgh South West."