Tory “bullying” claims dismissed

Leader of East Renfrewshire's Conservatives Stewart Miller and SNP councillor Angela Convery.
Leader of East Renfrewshire's Conservatives Stewart Miller and SNP councillor Angela Convery.

The leader of East Renfrewshire’s Conservatives has dismissed claims that members of his group had bullied SNP councillors.

Stewart Miller admitted he has carried out an investigation after SNP councillor Angela Convery said her party colleagues had suffered reputational damage.

Ms Convery’s comments relate to the release of SNP members’ email addresses to the public.

It’s understood one party member received around 160 emails from angry residents about plans for the new Eastwood Leisure Centre.

And Ms Convery said: “I was disgusted by the blatant instigation of bullying and reputational damage towards one of our fellow councillors at the hands of other councillors

“This bullying is due to blatant lies and misinformation that has been fed to residents.

“Bullying is completely unacceptable and should not be tolerated.”

She was backed by her SNP colleague, Annette Ireland, who accused Conservative members of using dirty tactics in attempts to win arguments over the leisure centre.

She added: “They believe that fear can be used as a reasonable enemy of reason and facts.

“Politics of division, encouraging personal attacks have been found to be a useful tool for them to use in East Renfrewshire.

“They are creating an artificial crisis for residents to worry over.”

But Mr Miller strongly defended his group members and insisted members of the public are within their rights to contact elected members with concerns.

He said: “I have fully investigated the bullying claims because as the leader of the Conservative Group I take bullying extremely seriously.

“Following that investigation, I dismiss the claims of bullying.

“The reason one SNP councillor felt bullied was because her email address was made public and she received around 160 emails about the leisure centre plans.

“I’ve had 300 in one night in the past.

“That’s not bullying, it’s allowing residents to let her know their feelings on a particular issue. That’s democracy.