AN SNP councillor has revealed she and her family have suffered a “campaign of harassment” since she was first elected in 2016.
Julie McKenzie, who lives close to Oban, claimed her cat was poisoned last month following years of difficulties like her tyres being slashed, a rock being put through her window and her kids being “seriously” bullied.
Speaking to the Daily Record, the Oban North and Lorn councillor said the harassment “seemed to be political” – and that her family had not experienced difficulties like this until she was elected four years ago.
McKenzie, 46, said she has faced social media abuse, spamming of her email account and something “revolting” being put through her letter box.
READ MORE: Oban SNP councillor woken by rock thrown through window
The councillor decided to move house in October because of bullying of her children. “I just wanted my kids of that situation,” she said.
“It seemed to be political – I can’t think of any other reason for it. We never suffered any harassment prior to me being elected in 2016.”
But McKenzie says even after moving she has been the victim of other kinds of “awful” behaviour. Last month she found her cat Rowan covered in a “strange, sticky substance” and knew the smell was garlic.
She said: “I googled cats and garlic and that’s when I got a real fright, because it became immediately obvious that garlic can be a real problem for cats.”
McKenzie reported the incident to the police after being advised to by her vet, and Police Scotland have since reported a woman to the procurator fiscal.
The councillor believes “it was an attempt to kill the cat”.
McKenzie went on: “We just want to be left alone, so my kids can be kids, free from any form of harassment at their home, and where I can do my job.
“The things that keep happening to my family seem to be forming a pattern. This is not normal.
“I would hope that we could live in a more tolerant society, where everybody is accepting of differing views, without resorting to abusing politicians.”
The councillor condemned harassment of politicians on all sides of the debate, adding she has “no time for it in any shape or form”.
She added: “We have to have a cohesive, cross-party response to it. I don’t think growing a thicker skin is the answer. I think challenging it head on is the answer.
“Every area of my life has been targeted.
“I refuse to uproot my family again from the part of Scotland we are from, and the part of Scotland I was elected to serve.”
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Around 4:55pm on 14 May, 2020, police received a report of an unknown substance being found in a garden. As a result of enquiries, a 50-year-old woman has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal.
“She was not arrested and charged and therefore was not released on an undertaking.”