Tory councillor barred from teaching for offensive tweets appointed to standards committee

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A TORY politician who was kicked out of the teaching profession for trolling Nicola Sturgeon has won a place on her council’s standards committee.

Kathleen Leslie agreed to be banned from the classroom after she called the First Minister “Wee Jimmy Krankie” and a “drooling hag”.

Despite that, yesterday she was given a place on Fife Council’s standards and audit committee.

Her new job, which has been described as “beyond parody” by critics, requires Cllr Leslie to “promote and maintain high standards of conduct by councillors”.

The 41-year-old from Dalgety Bay, Fife, wrote a series of “offensive” and “inappropriate” tweets about Nicola Sturgeon ahead of the independence referendum in 2014.

In November 2013, while also tagging Sturgeon into the tweets, the former additional support teacher tweeted: “Wee Jimmy Krankie is a drooling hag.

“She’s a walking horror show.”

Another earlier tweet in July 2013, read: “That wee fish wife was there?! At taxpayer expense no doubt.

“Feel sorry for poor bugger sat next to her grim face.”

Not only has Cllr Leslie made comments about Nicola Sturgeon, she also called a lottery winning family “uneducated fat f*****s” after they donated millions to the Yes campaign.

At the time, Leslie was blasted by opposition parties for the tweets and “reminded of her responsibilities” by bosses in the Scottish Conservative party.

Last week she removed herself from the teaching register ahead of an investigation by the General Teaching Council of Scotland into whether she was fit to teach following the offensive comments.

SNP MSP for Mid Fife and Glenrothes Jenny Gilruth said: “The comments from Councillor Kathleen Leslie were spectacularly ill-judged and insulting, and far from the behaviour the public expect from elected politicians.

“It is beyond parody that Ms Leslie has been appointed to the very committee which is responsible for the conduct of councillors, and upholding the standards which she is guilty of ignoring.

“This comes on the back of deeply disturbing comments by the Conservative leader on Fife Council not only defending Councillor Leslie, but also suggesting that many others share her views.

“There are serious questions to answer about how such behaviour can be swept under the carpet by Ruth Davidson’s Tory party.”

Councillor David Alexander, Fife Council co-leader and SNP group leader said: “They need to reflect on their members conduct and also on the statement by their leader along the lines that a lot of them might think things but she actually said it.

“If that reflects the feeling among Conservatives in Fife, I would question if any of them should serve on a standards committee.

“Hopefully some of them may distance themselves from the comments made.”
Leslie was elected councillor for Burntisland, Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy in May this year.

Before this, Leslie was a teacher for 16 years and originally qualified as a history teacher before going on to teach modern studies.

Three years ago she moved into Additional Support Needs education in Woodmill High School in Dunfermline, Fife.

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