THE UNIVERSITY of Aberdeen are looking into a complaint over alleged trans-bashing by a candidate for the rectorship who has been “reprimanded” for homophobic remarks and pledged to stop the provision of gender neutral toilets.

Angus Hepburn, the second year business student from Kippen, near Stirling, failed in his bid to become the university Rector last week as Scottish Greens co-convenor Maggie Chapman won the election.

Mr Hepburn denies trans-bashing during a candidate panel debate last week where he referred to "policies that are not popular and are coming from an ideology which is dangerous and must be stopped.”


Mr Hepburn, who was already  the subject of a complaint alleging homophobic remarks during the aborted Rector election campaign in November and says it came from him once saying "gay people go to hell".

During a hustings last week while discussing the provision of the gender neutral toilets he said that if elected he will "make sure that does not progress".

The rise of gender-neutral toilets has come about to help transgender, non-binary people and those struggling with gender identity issues feel more comfortable.

Mr Hepburn said: "Our safety as men and women, our safety from having to share toilets with women or having to have an expansion of something which is pointless because there's already more than one percent of toilets in the university are gender neutral therefore we don't need any more [sic].

"I'm going to protect us. I'm going to protect men, I'm going to protect women from being able to have space or not having to worry about some policies that are not popular and are coming from an ideology which is dangerous and must be stopped. [sic]"


As he finished one member of the audience shouted: "What about protecting non-binary people, like me?"

Later after being criticised for his comments by Ms Chapman, he tweeted: "I have been attacked for no reason. There are sufficient disabled toilets on campus for other people if they feel afraid and males and female(s), the majority of the world, want to be protected from those who could pretent to be non-binary."

The University of Aberdeen has said it is considering "an individual complaint in respect of the matter."

Angus Hepburn's outburst at the University of Aberdeen hustings.  Source: Aberdeen University Students Association (Facebook live)

A university spokesman said: “This event was organised and overseen by the Student Election Committee, a body comprising of students that was introduced following the last election in order to bring enhanced oversight to the process.

“Having carefully reviewed the circumstances, both the Student Election Committee and the University are satisfied that the moderator’s response was proportionate and sought to move the discussion on quickly, in a constructive manner."

Mr Hepburn said that the trans-bashing allegations were "completely false" adding: "I am only wanting to protect men and women. Women certainly do not want men in bathroom with them as the ultra left would just like to appease less than 0.1 per cent of the university population.

“The University is currently considering an individual complaint in respect of the matter.”

Mr Hepburn confirmed he had been reprimanded over allegations he made homophobic remarks in what he called a "private discussion" that was videoed.


Mr Hepburn, who said he had Asperger's Syndrome, and routinely stutters said: "As my friends would attest I am a kind and considerate man and one of absolute honour and trust, all except for the gay stuff which I said over a year ago and have been dually repremanded and so I should not be punished for these lies."

When asked what the "gay stuff" was he said: "Gay people go to hell".

An open letter to the university from a students group alleged that Mr Hepburn had made "outrageous statements" including homophobic remarks.

In an email to one of the complaining students in November, Nicholas Edwards, the assistant registrar and enrolled solicitor said that there had been a "very productive" meeting between Professor Mike Greaves, the senior vice principal and Mr Hepburn over "the allegations regarding his conduct".

When the open letter was read to him during the first election campaign, Mr Hepburn, told Aberdeen Student Radio: "Are they appropriate... it is not appropriate to say those things. I have asked God for forgiveness and I am trying every day to do that (sic).


Angus Hepburn reacts as he is told about the open letter

"And this year I haven't said any of that [sic]. And I feel that people should forgive me. I have asked for forgiveness."

When asked about protection of rights for LGBT+ students, he said: "I have Asperger's and I don't really understand it . It is not something that makes sense to me at all.

"I don't think it is good that I am being targeted in an election."

"By accepting to run for Rector I have taken the decision not to criticise any fellow groups for their beliefs and I am going to be a better Christian and respect everyone. If you call me out, I will apologise. But by running for this I accept I must be impartial."


The new ballot was called for after at least one other candidate wanted Ms Chapman removed from the ballot in a row over hundreds of campaign posters being torn down.

Ms Chapman said of Mr Hepburn's panel remarks: “I am appalled by what Angus Hepburn said. The university had the opportunity to challenge his [alleged] homophobia and transphobia in the November elections, and chose to ‘have a friendly chat with him’ instead because he has Asperger’s.

"That, in itself, is just awful."

She added: "The idea that gender neutral toilets is an 'ideology' is simply ridiculous. We all use gender neutral toilets in our homes and in many situations where there is only one toilet available.

"Institutions that seek to be inclusive should ensure that the facilities they design and provide are inclusive too, and gender neutral toilets are just a part of this."