A COUNCIL leader has apologised to his Twitter followers after they were duped into thinking he branded the police “Salmond’s Gestapo”.
Renfrewshire Council boss Mark Macmillan fell victim to a fake social media account with a similar username and photo to the Labour councillor.
The user then posted a fake tweet that compared police in an independent Scotland to the secret police officers used in Nazi Germany.
It read: “Police Scotland will be Salmond’s Gestapo in an independent Scotland.”
Mr Macmillan said sorry to his 610 followers for “anyone misled by mischief” and has contacted Police Scotland and Twitter over the phony profile – the fake account has now been deleted.
The message also called for the Independence Referendum – which is scheduled to take place on Thursday, September 18 next year – to be brought forward to this week.
Mr Macmillan said: “I like the openness of social media and welcome the dialogue with the people of Renfrewshire. However, trust is essential.
“When someone acts maliciously it can be confusing and damaging. I have contacted Twitter, who are dealing with this issue and I have also contacted the police.”
After the posts appeared on the fake account in Mr Macmillan’s name, Twitter user Colin Walker initially responded to the comments, saying:
“Your Nazi references single you out as a bore and morally bankrupt.”
When the comment was retweeted to Macmillan’s official page, he responded with a flurry of apologies.
He said: “Folks, this is my only Twitter feed. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but it’s also unfair to followers.”
He added: “There is an ‘impersonator’ feed in my name. It is interfering with people’s need to contact me.
“Apologies to anyone misled by mischief on Twitter today.”
Fellow labour Councillor Joe McIlwee from Inverclyde Council directly tweeted at the council leader, saying he had blocked the fraudulent user and that he “did think some of the comments a bit strange.”
A Police Scotland spokesman confirmed the force had been contacted by Mr Macmillan about the incident and would be looking into the matter.