Council elections: Scottish Labour candidate Vanessa Shand axed after 'Catholic monarchy' comment and SNP's Siobhan Tolland urged to quit following Pope slur

Scottish Labour has axed a candidate who said the SNP want to impose a “Catholic monarchy” as an SNP candidate has also been urged to quit over a slur against the Pope.

Vanessa Shand withdrew as a Perth and Kinross council candidate for Scottish Labour after she taunted a party MP over her Catholic faith and backed a former soldier who was charged with murdering civilians on Bloody Sunday.

Ms Shand used to have an ‘I Stand With Soldier F’ Twitter logo, which refers to the former paratrooper who was charged over his role in the Bloody Sunday massacre in Derry in 1972.

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Thirteen civil rights demonstrators were killed when members of the British Army's Parachute Regiment opened fire.

Scottish Labour has axed a candidate who said the SNP want to impose a “catholic monarchy” as an SNP candidate has been urged to quit for calling the Pope a “c**t” (Photo: PA).
Scottish Labour has axed a candidate who said the SNP want to impose a “catholic monarchy” as an SNP candidate has been urged to quit for calling the Pope a “c**t” (Photo: PA).
Scottish Labour has axed a candidate who said the SNP want to impose a “catholic monarchy” as an SNP candidate has been urged to quit for calling the Pope a “c**t” (Photo: PA).

Soldier F faced murder charges over the killing of two people, James Wray and William McKinney, plus multiple counts of attempted murder.

The candidate’s removal comes after Henry Dunbar, previously a senior member and leader of the Orange Order, was revealed as a Labour candidate in North Lanarkshire.

A Scottish Labour spokesperson said: “Every Scottish Labour candidate is expected to abide by our values, especially with regards to opposing forms of prejudice or hatred.

“The Scottish Labour Party will act on evidence that any candidate has fallen short of these standards.

“The person in question is no longer a Labour candidate.”

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Meanwhile, the SNP has been urged to sack national executive committee member Siobhan Tolland after it emerged she admitted calling the Pope a “c**t”.

Ms Tolland, who is also standing in the May council elections in Dundee, posted in 2010 that she “might have gone a wee bit too far” with the slur against Pope Benedict XVI after she travelled to Edinburgh to see him.

She posted: "Siobhan thinks everyone should protest against the Pope for his cover up of sex abuse crimes and is going to the demo on Lothian road...”

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The candidate for the Lochee ward also posted she believed the CIA and the FBI were behind the September 11 Twin Tower attacks which killed 2,977 people.

The comments have since been removed and Ms Tolland has said she is “very sorry”.

A spokesperson for Dundee SNP said: "These posts, mainly from 12 years ago, are regrettable and reflect a difficult period in her life which she has long since moved on from.”

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