A FORMER member of the SNP has called for an investigation into transphobia, claiming more than 20 complaints about it were ignored.

Emma Cuthbertson, a former Women's Officer in the party's Motherwell and Wishaw branch, has told of how she feared almost daily for her safety and was the victim of attacks by councillors, MSPs, MPs and unelected party members due to her being transgender.

She has also accused senior party figures of treating abuse of trans people as "acceptable collateral damage to maintain party unity".

In a lengthy statement, Ms Cuthbertson said the "sheer amount of transphobia from elected party members; MPs, MSPs and Cllrs was both upsetting and astounding." during her five years as an SNP member.

She explained: "Elected officials were standing against the party manifesto they were elected on. I was sure that, when this was highlighted to the SNP’s National Secretary, something would be done. After all this was the person charged with looking at such behaviour and acting. I was wrong."

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After being elected as a women's officer in 2019, Ms Cuthbertson claims she was " being relentlessly targeted on social media, almost daily." and said there was concern for her own safety at a party conference due to the abuse.

She said: "I had two women’s officers, from Nairn and Central Scotland, deliberately misgender me as a man.

"One day I posted on Twitter looking for Netflix recommendations only to be met by an SNP member tweeting “GET OUT OF MY PARTY”.

"At an SNP conference there was concern enough about my physical safety that signs had to be put up reminding people of how to conduct themselves. I had one of the candidates running to be the SNP’s Women’s Convenor that year misgender me and share details of my branch membership publicly... it really made me fear for my safety, given the daily hatred I was receiving on social media."

Ms Cuthbertson, who left the SNP earlier this year, has now joined the Scottish Greens and is a Co-Convener of the party's LGBT+ wing, the Rainbow Greens.

Prior to leaving the party, she said she sent "at least 21 complaints" to Angus MacLeod, the national secretary, copying in First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Business Convener Kirsten Oswald MP and the party's women and equalities convener.

She said: "Everyone at the top of the party was aware of what was going on. I met with Angus twice where he accepted that the code of conduct was severely lacking and where he said this is a fight they don’t want to have.

"The complaints went unanswered, an experience shared by the many others who sent complaints in.

"I also had a meeting with the SNP’s Chief Operations Officer at SNP HQ where she again confirmed the code of conduct is out of date and not fit for purpose..She also suggested I find an internationally recognised definition of transphobia, which seemed a strange request given the Scottish Government the previous year had published posters saying they were standing up to transphobia."

Ms Cuthbertson claims that SNP leaders "know full well that the party have a problem with transphobia, and increasingly homophobia, but the leadership have consciously taken the decision to do nothing about it. "

She said: "They stopped complaints, they stopped any discussion at the National Executive Committee, and they stopped any conference motion that even mentioned trans and non-binary people.

"I can only conclude that they view the abuse of LGBT+ people as acceptable collateral damage to maintain party ‘unity’.

"If it doesn’t affect the SNP’s reputation, polling, membership numbers or votes then we can be safely ignored.

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"This is my concern. A party in government who claim to be progressive and welcoming, and who claim to want a progressive independent Scotland, have deliberately stood back and watched as a vulnerable minority have been vilified and persecuted within their own party."

Ms Cuthbertson, along with her fellow Rainbow Greens co-convener, has called on an independent inquiry to take place into transphobia within the SNP.

Mr Ingerson added: "We have known that an issue has existed for some time with lots of transphobic and homophobic behaviour witnessed on social media and in rising hate crime statistics. Recently we have seen an influx of LGBT+ and young people from the SNP, and Scottish Labour for that matter, now joining the Scottish Greens. As much as we welcome these new members wholeheartedly, it is disturbing to hear of their horrendous experiences. With a recent poll showing a possible SNP majority, it is even more worrying just how prevalent these views are becoming within Scotland's current governing party."

The SNP has been approached for comment.