A FORMER SNP cabinet minister has called on the party to reverse the appointment of a new complaints officer, after it was revealed the new hire accused their own party MP of “bullying” and “transphobia”.

We told yesterday how Joanna Cherry MP criticised party chiefs over the new appointment, asking “how he passed vetting?”

Now, former health secretary says the appointment should be "rescinded with immediate effect".

Screenshots from Ricky Taylor’s twitter account show the new complaints officer replying to Ms Cherry in January, saying: “I’m not in any nasty minority. I’m a member of the party that’s deeply concerned with the open transphobia that you constantly spout.”

At the time of the exchange the MP replied: “You won’t find anything to show I’m transphobic because I’m not. Standing up for women’s rights and those of lesbians is not transphobic. Grow up.”

 

Mr Taylor responded: “No, Joanna. It’s time you grew up and stopped creating a toxic environment within the SNP and pulling the defamation card anytime you’re challenged on your views.”

Many questioned the appointment after the tweets were brought to light, however a spokesman for the SNP said they have “full confidence in his abilities”.

However, former cabinet minister Alex Neil has now come forward, urging the party to reverse the decision.

The former MSP for Airdrie and Shotts, who stood down at the 2021 election, posted online: “This is not a good appointment and should be rescinded with immediate effect.

“This is very unfair to Joanna and undermines the party’s stance on human rights”.

READ MORE: SNP's new complaints officer called own party's MP 'transphobic' and a 'bully'

Mr Taylor posted online on Friday evening to say he was “delighted” to be joining the SNP’s headquarters at the end of August as the party’s new complaints officer.

He added: “It’s not going to be the easiest job but I’m definitely up for the challenge of making sure the party is a welcoming and safe place for all”.

Recruitment for the new role came after a series of controversies over the conduct of senior figures in the party.

Recent instances included former leader Alex Salmond, former finance secretary Derek Mackay, former early years minister Mark McDonald, former Westminster chief whip Patrick Grady, and the MP Margaret Ferrier.

Salmond, Mackay and McDonald are no longer in the party, with the former first minister now leading Alba.

Ferrier sits as an independent MP while Grady continues to sit as an SNP MP.

Sharing screenshots of previous posts, Ms Cherry wrote: “The new SNP complaints officer Ricky Taylor has a history of targeting me and calling me transphobic for my lawful gender critical views. How did he pass vetting?”

HeraldScotland:

Other tweets, found by The Herald, show Mr Taylor to say: “There’s certainly no place for bullying or intimidation in politics so maybe JC can start practicing what she preaches?”

Another tweet, referencing independence plans, said: “I can’t believe there’s still some in the party that are pushing this ‘plan B’ nonsense.

“It’s nothing more than an excuse for some to undermine the Party Leader and to push their own agenda.”

An SNP spokesman said: "The Party’s new complaints officer will play an important administrative role at headquarters, and we have full confidence in his abilities.

“Decisions on complaints remain with the National Secretary.”

The Herald yesterday contacted Ricky Taylor for comment.

He failed to respond, however later posted online: “Hi, Folks - thanks for all the messages/tweets of support today.

“I’m perfectly fine and even more determined and excited to get on with the job.”