Jason Grant has left his post as Tayside’s period dignity officer.
In a statement released to The Courier on Tuesday, Dundee & Angus College confirmed the controversial role has been axed.
It said the decision was taken after “threats and abuse” towards individuals in recent weeks.
Senior figures from Dundee & Angus College and Perth College, as well as councils in Dundee and Angus, had been locked in talks on how to handle the situation after a huge backlash to his appointment.
Controversy after appointment
The row kicked off after news of Mr Grant’s role fighting period poverty was met with outrage on social media.
A host of famous names reacted angrily to a man being given the job, including tennis icon Martina Navratilova, who branded the decision “f*****g ridiculous”.
A spokesperson for the Period Dignity Working Group, which consists of officials from each of the organisations, told us: “The partners involved in the Period Dignity Working Group are committed to alleviating period poverty in Angus, Dundee and Perth and Kinross.
“It is regrettable that given the threats and abuse levelled at individuals in recent weeks, the period dignity regional lead officer role will not continue.
“The working group is now looking closely at alternative ways to deliver these vital services in line with the legal requirements of the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act 2021.”
The role was created after Scotland introduced the law, becoming the first country in the world where public institutions are legally enforced to provide free period products.
Mr Grant was to act as the lead figure in spreading the word on access to products for women and girls.
Staff and students under ‘personal attack’
The working group statement added: “Meanwhile, support will continue to be provided to the colleagues and students who have been subjected to personal attack. Their safety and wellbeing is of paramount importance.
“The group’s joint work to provide free period products is rooted in kindness. We therefore ask that the same spirit of kindness is extended to those involved, and that their privacy is respected.”
Mr Grant declined to comment when approached by The Courier.
The story of his appointment was picked up internationally, with the Washington Post, CNN and a host of other titles reporting the story.
In Scotland, many called for a rethink over the project, funded jointly by Dundee and Angus College, Perth College, Angus Council and Dundee City Council.
The Period Dignity Working Group initially defended the recruitment process.
The group – comprising of Katie Baxter (Dundee and Angus College), Shelley Hague (Angus Council), Jill Brash (Dundee City Council) and Deborah Lally (Perth College) – said: “With all partners in the working group Equal Opportunities Employers, Jason was the strongest candidate.”
But lingering questions about the process, submitted by The Courier, were met with a wall of silence.
Angus Council’s top figures have gone to ground since the row erupted, with leader Beth Whiteside saying she did not feel she needed to comment.
But her Dundee City counterpart John Alexander called for calm and claimed discussion around the controversy had “so far lacked context”.
He said: “Male midwives are not controversial, but there is no doubting that they have no experience of child birth.
“That said, I’m not naïve enough not to see why there is the current controversy.
“The appointment has been made and the successful applicant’s focus should be on what such a role can achieve for people across Tayside.”