Tory chief apologises after “flipping woman” email

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A TOP Tory has issued an “unreserved apology” after labelling a local councillor a “flipping woman”.

Andrew Bowie, chief of staff to Liam Kerr MSP, accidentally sent the offensive message after his boss was asked to support a charity.

Geva Blackett had asked Mr Kerr to lend his support to a motor neurone disease charity campaign.

The SNP councillor from the north-east of Scotland was shocked to receive the disrespectful reply from Mr Bowie which also claimed she “had it in” for one of her Tory rivals.

 

Andrew Bowie, chief of staff to Liam Kerr MSP, issued an "unreserved apology" following the email
Andrew Bowie, chief of staff to Liam Kerr MSP, issued an “unreserved apology” following the email

 

Mr Bowie has since offered a full and unreserved apology to Cllr Blackett.

Cllr Blackett, councillor for Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside, said: “I emailed all of the north-est MSP’s asking for them to lend their support to those living with motor neurone disease who are constantly being reassessed for benefits.

“I received the reply around 10 minutes later from Liam Kerr’s chief of staff and I was shocked.”

Mr Bowie, who may have accidentally copied in the councillor to a message to his boss, wrote: “This flipping woman is an SNP councillor who has it in for Alex B [Alexander Burnett, Tory MSP for Aberdeen West]!”

Cllr Blackett said: “He accused me of having it in for ‘Alex B’ but I work across the political spectrum and I hold no malice against Alex.

 

Geva Blackett was 'shocked 'by the reply
Geva Blackett was ‘shocked ‘by the reply

 

“I sent the email as a constituent, not as a councillor, about a serious illness and it has been used a political football.

“I am so angry about it. It wasn’t a party political issue I was emailing him about, I emailed asking for his support.”

Cllr Blackett replied to the email, asking Mr Bowie if the phrase “flipping woman” is an “appropriate way to describe a constituent”.

She has also formally complained about Mr Kerr’s office to the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament.

Cllr Blackett added: “He sent me an apology soon afterwards but he didn’t even spell my name right!”

An SNP source said: “Though this wasn’t intended for public consumption, it rather underpins the deep disdain the Tories have for their constituents.

“Liam Kerr is already in trouble for using taxpayers’ money to promote the Tories in the north-east.

“But sadly these sorts of blunders from a reckless right-wing, rabble of Tory MSPs have become all too common.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said that Mr Bowie had issued a “full and unreserved apology to Ms Blackett”.

Mr Burnett is currently facing a Police Scotland investigation into his election expenses after he was accused of breaching election spending rules.

Mr Kerr is facing a separate investigation after he apparently used parliamentary resources to sent out a post-election letter thanking his voters.

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