POLICE have launched an investigation into a series of false tweets inciting violence against a prominent SNP politician.

Emma Roddick, an SNP councillor, contacted the authorities on Thursday after social media posts pretending to be from her own account circulated online threatening to attack Joanna Cherry QC.

It is the fourth time in the past two months she has contacted the police after being subject to a campaign of online abuse, and two housebreakings which she was advised may be politically motivated,

One of the posts which appeared online was made to look like it was from Roddick’s own Twitter account, and read: “I’m normally against violence but I’d 100% throat punch Joanna Cherry given half a chance.”

In a more sinister incident, Roddick’s Inverness home was broken into with the intruder lingering in the house for some time before leaving empty handed. They returned several days later, moved objects around the home and then left once again without stealing anything. The police later advised her the incidents may be politically-motivated scare tactics.

This happened in October while Roddick, 22, was campaigning in the Inverness Central by-election – a seat she later won for the party.

The councillor believes the abuse is a result of her outspoken views in support of the gender recognition act (GRA), which would see men and women being able to self-declare their gender instead of going through intrusive medical certifications for gender dysphoria. Opposers to the planned legislation say they are concerned that it would allow sexual predators access to women-only spaces such as refuges, female fitness sessions and changing rooms.

Roddick said: “The trigger for the online abuse has been this Women’s Pledge, its got much worse since that came out and since I refused to sign it.

The "Women’s Pledge" petition was launched by 50 women, including prominent SNP politicians Joanna Cherry and Joan McAlpine, at the party conference in October and claims to be about standing up for women’s rights.

Critics, including Roddick, argue the pledge has transphobic undertones and have declined to sign.

The councillor said: “Some of the accounts are anonymous, but some of them are SNP members. The really bad ones are anonymous accounts, others are party members and they have tweeted about the fact they’re party members. They are known to HQ. It is upsetting that they can still call themselves party members when they are targeting people like this and attacking them online.

“In my case, they are trying to force a sitting councillor to resign. The fake tweet threatening Joanna Cherry is upsetting me. It should be obvious that I would never say anything like that, but people may think I have genuinely said this. I can’t trust that my constituents won’t know this is false. This is the third time now I’ve had to contact the police about online abuse and people fabricating and impersonating me.

“The break-in was separate. I came downstairs and they ran out, but it was concerning how long they had been there without taking anything. The police thought it was to scare me.

“I had to have friends to stay as I was not in a good place. I went out a few days later and when I came back someone had been in again. Things had been moved around.

“The police didn’t find out who it was or why but because nothing was taken they thought it was a threatening thing rather than an actual burglary. They said because I’m involved in politics it could be related. I hoped it wasn’t as that’s very sinister.”

Having contacted the SNP’s national secretary Angus MacLeod several times about the abuse, Roddick received a response following The Herald on Sunday’s contact with the party. MacLeod said he would investigate cases where named SNP members were perpetrating the abuse, adding: “We face difficulties with a mixture of non-member Yes supporters and members hiding behind anonymous accounts who amplify these incidents but I am happy to take action against identified members who breach the code of conduct.”

Earlier this week, another SNP member who supports the party’s plans to reform GRA was also subject to falsified social media posts, and calls for him to be suspended from the party.

Two anti-Semitic tweets which had been made to look like they came from the man’s account were posted online, and later picked up by various media platforms which made them appear legitimate.

Westminster candidate Neale Hanvey, who has been supportive of the Women's Pledge campaign, was suspended at the end of November when alleged anti-Semitic social media posts were reported to party HQ.

Some party insiders suspect those who do not agree with the pledge deliberately targeted him, however Hanvey has not commented on the speculation.

He yesterday vowed to overturn his ban from the party, but said if he did win his seat he would align himself with the SNP as an independent if his membership was not reinstated.

In relation to Roddick's case, a Police Scotland spokesperson said: “A report has been received and inquiries are at an early stage.”

An SNP spokesman said: “We’ve been made aware of fake tweets purporting to be from an elected representative circulating on social media, and will be in contact to offer support. Nobody should share such content."