A FORMER SNP councillor awarded a five-figure payout in a mud-slinging racism row is to stand against her former party in the Scottish Parliament elections.
Julie McAnulty was awarded £40,000 over false racism accusations after false accusations were made about her in a row over infighting amongst SNP members in North Lanarkshire.
Meetings of an SNP branch in Coatbridge were called off in 2016 when the row was at its height and McAnulty, then a local councillor, was suspended from the party and dropped as a potential Holyrood candidate after an email accusing her of making a racist comment was given to the Daily Record newspaper.
She won a five-figure pay out from fellow activist Sheena McCulloch two years later after a judge said there was “malice and ill-will” behind the claim against her. Judge Lord Uist said this had been linked to political infighting.
Now McAnulty will stand on the Central Scotland regional list as one of the 15 candidates fronted by the Independence for Scotland Party (ISP) in its first Scottish Parliament contest.
Another ex-SNP councillor – Argyll and Bute Council depute provost Roddy McCuish, who was sitting as an independent before becoming the ISP’s first elected member – is also amongst the candidates, many of whom have expressed disillusionment with the SNP in their statements.
ISP which seeks Scottish independence within the European Free Trade Association (Efta), was founded last year by disability activist and former SNP branch women’s officer Colette Walker.
It is opposed to elements of the Scottish Government’s planned Gender Recognition Act reforms and has vowed to “protect women’s sex-based rights”, a stance that has led to criticism from supporters of self-identification.
Three of the candidates are female, with 12 male. They include business analysts, Merchant Navy officers and teachers and Walker said she is “immensely proud” of all 15.
She told The National: “I wish to thank all those members who put themselves forward for vetting for their time and engagement in what was a rigorous and robust process.
“I am immensely proud of all those candidates who made it through and will represent the party in the upcoming election. I know each of them will give their all.
“As a party with independence and women’s rights as its core values I would dearly have loved to have more female candidates, however we can’t force anyone to stand.
“Given the level of trolling and abuse handed out online it is no surprise women didn’t want to subject themselves to that but those who have will have our full support.
“All our candidates now stand ready to dedicate every moment to fighting for Scottish independence, women’s rights and equality for everyone.”