SNP member suspended over death threats to pro-Union campaigner

SNP member is suspended over death threats saying pro-Union campaigner should be ‘swinging from a lamp post’ – as Nicola Sturgeon is accused of ignoring online abuse by own party

  • SNP activist Mark Fagan was suspended from party for blasting  Blair McDougall
  • He said Better Together campaign director should be ‘swinging from a lamppost’
  • The troll hit out at former Better Together campaign director in a vile Twitter post
  • The SNP said it suspended Fagan’s membership of the Glasgow Central branch

A Scottish Nationalist has been suspended from Nicola Sturgeon’s party after allegedly threatening to ‘lynch’ a former Labour strategist.

Mark Fagan faced being booted out of the SNP for good for saying Blair McDougall should be ‘swinging from a lamp post’.

The troll blasted the former Better Together campaign director in a vile Twitter post and accused him of being a ‘lying red Tory’.

But the speechwriter said he did not expect the party to ‘lift a finger’ and claimed it was not the first time he had been threatened.

The SNP later announced it had suspended Fagan’s membership of the Glasgow Central branch and said ‘there is no place in politics for abuse’.

It comes at an awkward time for the party, with its Westminster leader over the weekend calling for ‘keyboard warriors’ on social media to be rooted out.


Mark Fagan faced being booted out of the SNP for good for saying Blair McDougall (left) should be ‘swinging from a lamp post’. Right: Nicola Sturgeon

Blair McDougall was best known for leading the victorious Better Together campaign during the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014.

The Glasgow University-educated strategist was also special adviser to minister Sir Ian McCartney under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

And as a student he was TV hardman Ross Kemp’s campaign manager for the Rectorial election in 1999.

Meanwhile he also coordinated David Miliband’s attempt to lead Labour in 2010 as well as Scotland adviser for Jess Phillips when she tried to win the part over in 2020.

He describes himself as: ‘A strategic thinker, creative campaigner and effective speechwriter.

‘More than 20 years of experience working around the world in government, politics and NGOs.

‘A leader with a record of delivery in the most challenging situations.’ 

Fagan had tweeted: ‘Tell us again the benefits of voting no. Lying Red Tory. You actually boast about this, you should be swinging from a lamp post.’

Mr McDougall said on Twitter: ‘Wake up to another SNP member talking about executing me.

‘He says he’s in the same seat as two SNP politicians who follow me. I don’t expect they’ll lift a finger.

‘No SNP member ever has any of the other times I’ve shared SNP members posting fantasies about this. Just another day.’

He said Fagan had ‘panicked and deleted his tweet about executing me,’ continued: ‘Unfortunately for you the internet isn’t written in pencil.’

In a thread on Twitter today, he said: ‘The papers this morning report that the SNP member who posted about me being hung from a lamp post has been suspended.

‘Good. Now that they’ve set the precedent that it’s wrong to talk about the execution of your opponents (a low bar, I know) let’s test if they mean it.’

He added to the Herald: ‘Reluctantly suspending one member, and only when the media get involved, isn’t enough.

‘We need to see SNP politicians on the record, speaking out against their own members who fantasise about executing their opponents, label them as traitors, and fill their social media profiles with hatred.’

Earlier this year he accused Ms Sturgeon of deliberately ignoring online abuse by members of her party.

He likened the SNP’s issue with Labour’s ‘antagonising internal struggles’ with ‘racists from within our ranks’.

Mr McDougall was best known for leading the victorious Better Together campaign during the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014.

The Glasgow University-educated strategist was also special adviser to minister Sir Ian McCartney under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

And as a student he was TV hardman Ross Kemp’s campaign manager for the Rectorial election in 1999.

A spokesman for the SNP said last night: ‘The individual has had their membership suspended.

‘There is no place in politics for abuse, threats or violence – be that online or offline. Attitudes like this are not welcome in the SNP.’

Over the weekend Ian Blackford (pictured last week) fired a warning shot at ‘keyboard warriors’ as he called for those inside and outside of his party to be rooted out

Over the weekend Ian Blackford fired a warning shot at ‘keyboard warriors’ as he called for those inside and outside of his party to be rooted out.

He told the Sunday Times: ‘Almost every MP that I know from every party has been subjected to violent threats or death threats — some on a regular basis.’

He added: ‘It is not long since the tragic deaths of David Amess and Jo Cox, and there is hardly a day goes past without threats of violence against politicians and intolerance at scale against others in the political space. People need to be allowed to do their jobs.’

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