Tories make complaint over posts liked by Scottish Government Twitter

THE Scottish Tories have made a formal complaint about the Scottish Government’s Twitter account after it was found to have “liked” posts attacking the party.

The “likes” included posts criticising the Prime Minister and former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson. They were removed from the Scottish Government’s Twitter account for health when they were drawn to ministers’ attention.

READ MORE: Security review over posts liked by Scottish Government Twitter

The account, which has more than 40,000 followers, has provided valuable information to Scots throughout the coronavirus outbreak. However because it is an account for a public body it is not permitted to make party political points.

One of the tweets the account “liked” stated: “So sad you hate Scotland having its own Parliament and prefer to be ruled by posh Eton educated millionaires, because @borisjohnson really cares about you [smiley face] Stay Alert #ThankYouNicola.”

Another told Davidson to “bog off”.

MSPs Donald Cameron and Annie Wells said the tweets breached civil service rules.

In a letter to Scottish Government permanent secretary Lesley Evans, the MSPs asked for a “full narrative” of what happened including who has access to the account, whether tweets have to be approved before being posted and whether civil servants are solely responsible for the account.

Questions were also asked about the security implications of the breach.  

The letter stated: “This is not the first time that members of our party have written to you regarding our concerns around the content of official Scottish Government Twitter accounts, or what we perceive to be the blurring of lines between civil service conduct and party political activity. 

“This continues to be of very great concern to us, and events like that detailed above only serve to reinforce the impression that the prized neutrality of the Scottish civil service is under threat.”

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