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by Louise Wilson
10 April 2024
Labour suspends Fife candidate following complaints over social media activity

Keir Starmer campaigned alongside Wilma Brown on a visit to Kirkcaldy last year | Alamy

Labour suspends Fife candidate following complaints over social media activity

Labour has suspended its candidate for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath pending investigation over her social media activity, Holyrood understands.

The party had been urged to ditch Wilma Brown as a candidate at the general election after she liked and shared a series of “racist” tweets.

Brown, who campaigned alongside Labour leader Keir Starmer last year in Fife, retweeted a post linking First Minister Humza Yousaf to Hamas and suggested the Scottish Government gave £500,000 to the organisation.

She also liked one tweet claiming a man wearing a turban and a St George cross flag “will never be an Englishman”, and another dubbing migrants expressing concerns about accommodation suitability as “ungrateful”.

Brown’s X/Twitter account has since been deleted.

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints seriously.

“They are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures, and any appropriate action is taken.”

Brown was selected as Labour’s candidate for the marginal seat of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath in April 2023.

She is a former nurse anesthetist and is an active member of Unison, currently chairing the service group executive committee.

SNP depute leader Keith Brown said: “The appalling tweets endorsed by the Labour Party candidate for Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy are deeply offensive, racist and completely unacceptable.

“Wilma Brown is clearly unfit to be a candidate at the general election. Sir Keir Starmer must sack her immediately and explain why she was ever selected given her long and very public history of endorsing deeply offensive comments.”

Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath has swung between Labour and the SNP at each of the last four elections.

Previously held by former prime minister Gordon Brown, it was won by the SNP’s Roger Mullin in 2015, before being retaken by Labour’s Lesley Laird in 2017.

Neale Hanvey is the area’s sitting MP and represents Alba, though he was listed as the SNP’s candidate at the 2019 election. He defected in March 2021.

The seat is seen as a key battleground for Labour and the SNP at the next general election in Scotland.

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