Labour councillor defends mother in ‘facist’ Twitter storm

Sean Morton – ‘misunderstanding’

The Labour candidate set to stand for election to Westminster in the UK General Election next year has been forced to defend his mother over a social media post.

Louise Morton, who is the vice-chair of Scottish Labour’s Moray branch, was at the centre of controversy at the weekend when she posted a message on her Twitter account that appeared to accuse pro-independence supporters of being ‘Facists’.

However, Sean Morton, who is the Labour councillor for Fochabers/Lhanbryde and has announced he will stand for the Westminster parliament next year, moved to defend his mother.

Councillor Morton told the Press and Journal: “I know my mum was getting some heat and terrible abuse online about it.

“She was referring to stories on social media about people calling themselves facists attending Yes campaign events.

“She was not talking about all Yes voters – it is a total misunderstanding, it was taken out of context. It really upset her and she apologised for it.”

The row centred around just five words posted by Ms Morton – “Or the YES voting facists!” in response to an independence discussion on Twitter.

Her comment brought about immediate condemnation including posts from Moray’s MP Angus Robertson, who asked what Scottish Labour was going to do about the smear, while in a separate post Mr Robertson highlighted Scottish Labour’s “track record” of Twitter insults.

However, a Scottish Labour spokesman said that they expected all sides in the independence debate to act “properly and respectfully”, recognising that all must work together the day after the votes are counted in September.

He added: “That is the message we have given to our members and we hope the Yes side are willing to do the same given the abuse we have seen from nationalists.”

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