A PROMINENT equalities campaigner in the SNP has quit the party and called for an independent inquiry into the extent of transphobia among its ranks.

Teddy Hope, a former transgender officer for the official LGBT wing of the SNP, Out for Indy, has spoken to the Herald after making the decision to leave.

They claim the party has become a “core hub for transphobia” in Scotland, and say the SNP has turned its back on the transgender community.

It comes after Teddy, who is non-binary, was abused at a branch meeting last year when asked to attend to discuss transgender rights and equalities.

READ MORE: Calls for independent probe into SNP transphobia as former member reveals extent of abuse

They said images were being passed around by a group which had infiltrated the branch meeting, before abusive questions and comments about transgender people being rapists and paedophiles were made.

Minutes of the meeting, seen by The Herald, state there were “people attending who were not members of the branch and appeared to be bent on confrontation.”

The minutes add: "At one point photocopies of men taken from the internet were passed with the comments that they had all been convicted of predatory and paedophilic behaviour against women and girls while self-identifying as women”

“There were also shouted comments of men getting access to women/girls in toilets and changing rooms and raping them and the infiltration of LGBTi information in primary schools encouraging children to identify as gay or trans”

“The atmosphere was such that the convenor ended this part of the meeting and asked all of those who were non-members to leave. The secretary accompanied the guest speakers out of the room and apologised to them for what had happened”

Paisley MP Mhairi Black cited the abuse against Teddy as one example of transphobia within the SNP last year, and urged party leaders to admit there was a problem.


 Angus MacLeod, then National Secretary of the SNP, had asked Teddy for details of the incident, after they posted about it on social media. Despite initially keeping in touch with them, Mr Macleod stopped corresponding with Teddy in August and no action has been taken as yet against those who perpetrated the abuse.

Six months after the incident Teddy has now decided to quit the party, and said it is not a safe place for transgender people any more.

READ MORE: Senior SNP member blasts 'morally repugnant' use of gender reforms for political profile boost

They also urged the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to conduct an independent investigation into the environment within the party, which “is allowing transphobia to proliferate, and it has now become normal and accepted”.

Teddy said: “My friends have been complaining about transphobic abuse in the party for years, and just haven’t been getting any feedback or response from the party.

“So the fact that headquarters, the National Secretary, finally was willing to listen to my complaint and seemed to be taking it seriously was a big deal. I felt like they were going to start taking the issue of transphobia seriously.

“I sent all the information, and he said he was investigating but he just faded out.

“I tried emailing and he didn't respond.”

When Mr MacLeod was replaced as National Secretary by Stewart Stevenson MSP, Teddy contacted again to ask for an update into the abuse probe but has yet to receive any response.

They said: “To be completely honest I think the SNP is now one of the core hubs of transphobia in Scotland.

“It needs to be accountable for its actions and harms it is doing to the trans community.  I don't think the party is at all safe for trans people.

“I can probably count the number of trans people I know who are still active and public-facing in the party on one hand.

“We all share this deep fear of being abused or being stalked and harassed, and it's terrifying.”


Teddy said that similar to the way Labour was investigated by the EHRC after anti-Semitism proliferated in the party, the SNP should be investigated for the extent of transphobia and lack of action taken to handle complaints.

They said: “I think what we need now from the SNP, at the very least, is a public apology from the leadership from towards the trans community for what they've done.

“They need to promise to make the party safe by bringing in a workable definition of transphobia as soon as possible, or else the party will just continue to harm trans people both externally and internally.”

An SNP spokesman said: “The SNP has a proud record on equalities issues, we treat all complaints seriously and we regret to hear of negative experiences of this nature.

"There is no room for transphobia in the SNP and no room for transphobia in Scotland - and our new National Secretary is continuing to investigate this case."