Tory candidate for Fife Council election previously called Nicola Sturgeon a ‘drooling hag’

April 20 2017, 8.00amUpdated: April 26 2017, 8.13am
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Kathleen Leslie is the Scottish Conservative candidate for Burntisland, Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy in the May 4 local elections.

The Scottish Conservatives say tweets about Nicola Sturgeon and her supporters by a Fife teacher bidding to be a Tory councillor are “clearly unacceptable”.

Scottish Conservative candidate Kathleen Leslie, who works with children who have additional support needs, called the First Minister a “drooling hag” and “wee fish wife” in Twitter tirades.

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She also laid into the lottery-winning Weir family, who have donated millions to the Yes movement, ridiculing them as “uneducated fat f******”.

And the Burntisland, Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy hopeful potentially smeared half the voting population by saying that “only a racist supports a Nationalist ideology”, in a run of vitriolic social media updates ahead of the 2014 referendum.

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Ms Leslie, who grew up in Fife and lives in Dalgety Bay, is a teacher at the department of additional support at Woodmill High School in Dunfermline.

Fife Council refused to discuss details of their employee, but said staff are free to express their personal views publicly, subject to some constraints.

An SNP spokeswoman said: “Kathleen Leslie’s online rants are spectacularly ill-judged and insulting.

“This is becoming a real problem for the Tories — they’ve had to suspend three candidates for racist rants and a whole host of other candidates have had to apologise for their behaviour.

“Ruth Davidson’s party are quickly becoming Scotland’s UKIP.”

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The council’s social media guidelines said postings which “might be considered of concern to the council” include those with the potential to cause offence and ones that bring the council into disrepute.

Shelagh McLean, head of service education at Fife Council, said: “As a responsible employer we do not ever discuss individual details about any of our employees.

“We have a very clear code of conduct which sets out the behaviour we expect from employees and we take appropriate action when necessary.

“As individuals, our employees have a right to express their own views publicly as long as they are not speaking in their capacity as a council employee or they are clear these are not the views of the council.”

Ms Leslie is the latest in a series of local election candidates who have been criticised for offensive, racist or vulgar posts.

Ian James, who is running for Perth & Kinross Council, called Ms Sturgeon a “poison dwarf”, as The Courier revealed last week.

Ken MacBrayne, who is standing for election to the Western Isles Council in Benbecula and North Uist, has been suspended by the Tories for making disturbing comments on social media, which included graphic descriptions of attacking the First Minister.

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: “These comments are clearly unacceptable, and Kathleen apologises for them.

“She’s removed them and been reminded of her responsibilities as a candidate.”

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