A Dundee councillor says she has been subjected to racist comments on a website by people campaigning for independence.
Maryfield councillor Georgia Cruickshank says the comments came after she was approached by a man who was both “aggressive” and “intimidating” to her at the recent Baxter Park Community Family Fun Day.
The Labour councillor has described the comments on the wingsoverscotland site as “a bit pathetic” and says she found the fun day episode “unsavoury”.
However, the site’s organiser has called the claims “ridiculous”.
She said: “When campaigning in support of the Better Together position, I witnessed first-hand how ugly, damaging and divisive this debate is becoming for some individuals within the Yes camp.
“At the Baxter Park Community Family Fun Day on Saturday I was approached by an individual who, at the outset and whilst there were children and youths around, appeared quite reasonable.
“However, this Jekyll and Hyde character changed as quickly as the children and youths moved away. As a mature woman, I quickly felt quite intimidated by his attitude, which I felt was quite aggressive towards me and what I stand for.
“In response to his question why wouldn’t I vote yes for separation, I tried to explain why I believe we are better together, moving forward as a nation, one United Kingdom, which only seemed to anger him further.
“He wouldn’t let me answer his questions, just kept firing more questions at me and I asked him why he was being so angry and aggressive towards me.
“He said ‘because this matters, it really matters’.
“As a local councillor, this community fun day was a great opportunity to just have a chat with local people.”
Ms Cruickshank, who hails from the north of England, says a friend then contacted her about photographs and derogatory comments that had been posted about her on the website.
Among the comments from a man called Gordon Bain, one said Ms Cruickshank had sworn at him before she “dived under the table”.
She said other comments claimed the Better Together campaign had “bussed” in a Geordie woman to man the stall, while others questioned her colour.
She said: “At first, I laughed at the photographs and even appreciated the skill someone has, as a photo of me has been superimposed on to an endless number of derelict sites throughout Scotland.
“But the other postings on this website show a very sinister side to the ‘Yes’ campaign.
“These racist and anti-English comments would not be tolerated in a football ground and would certainly not be tolerated in any workplace, so why is this website allowed to continue supporting this type of material?”
The site’s host, the Rev Stuart Campbell said: “I have no idea what happened in Baxter Park, as I wasn’t there. The story as recounted to me was of Ms Cruickshank responding to some questions with a curt “F*** ***”.
“But the idea that anyone made ‘racist’ comments about Ms Cruickshank is ridiculous. It was noted that she had a Geordie accent but nobody attached this to any abusive remarks.
“Later, an anti-independence campaigner on Facebook accused the site and its readers of victimising Ms Cruickshank because she was ‘black’, at which some people expressed simple surprise because Ms Cruickshank had not appeared to anyone, including the person who spoke to her, to be anything other than white.
“Absolutely nobody made or would have made any derogatory comments about her colour. There were neither racist nor anti-English comments made by anyone and those quoted by Ms Cruickshank are plainly neither of those things but differences of political opinion.”