Police are investigating after a number of female Fife councillors were targeted by an anonymous caller who made sexual remarks.
At least eight Labour and SNP councillors received phone calls from an unidentified number within a 20-minute period on Monday night.
Only two of the women answered the calls but in each case, the unknown man claimed he had been paid by a “generous friend” of theirs to come to their houses and strip.
Labour councillor Mary Lockhart and the SNP’s Lea McLelland, who both represent Lochgelly, Cardenden and Benarty, said he identified himself only as “the male stripper” and asked: “Are you ready? Are you up for it?”
They said they were concerned by the call, with Ms Lockhart in particular left shaking with fear.
“They know my name, they have my phone number and they know where I live,” she said. “It could be anybody.”
Ms Lockhart, who was cleared of an allegation of anti-semitism following remarks made on Facebook last year, said she had been subjected to “vile threats” during the Labour Party investigation and that Monday’s phone call at 8pm had had a similar effect on her.
“It’s not a laugh. I was left very upset and afraid,” she said.
“For the first time since a man came into my room 40 years ago and raped me I feel very insecure and afraid in my own home.”
The former Army officer added: “I think there is a whole climate of this going on and it’s part of the wider climate of resentment and fear in the country just now that almost always impacts on women in any kind of leadership role.”
She added: “I think there are some men who will always see women who are doing things as a threat to them.”
Ms McLelland said she had not taken the call too seriously at the time, mistakenly thinking a friend was playing a prank on her.
It was only when she heard she was one of several recipients that she decided to contact the police.
“It was a middle-aged male voice, not kids up to high jinx,” she said.
“He was asking for my address and said he would come to my house to do whatever he was going to do.”
She said she had initially laughed at the man but added: “I thought later, well it’s councillors today, it could be someone more vulnerable tomorrow.”
Fife Council confirmed it was aware of the incident and said support and advice was available to anyone affected.
Depute monitoring officer Andrew Ferguson said: “The fact that female councillors have been targeted in this way is very concerning and we would urge anyone who is receiving nuisance calls of this nature to report the matter to the police.”
A police spokesperson said: “We received a report of a nuisance phone call at around 8.20am on Tuesday October 15.
“Inquiries are ongoing.”