Renfrewshire councillor accused of calling political rival a ‘walloper’ on Facebook



A newly re-elected Renfrewshire councilor has been slammed after she appeared to brand a political rival “a walloper”.

Emma Rodden is believed to have made the comment on her personal Facebook page, during a discussion which saw her celebrate her election win on May 5.

The SNP councilor was re-elected to serve the residents of Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood and Lochwinnoch at the recent polls.

But the bungling politician made the remarks, apparently in relation to fellow ward councilor Andy Doig, on the social media site.

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In the May 6 post, Councilor Rodden wrote: “Wee bit late in posting this! Another 5 years in Council for me!”, accompanied by a smiley face emoji.

However, in comments under the post, in which well-wishers congratulated the councilor on her victory, one person remarked: “Congratulations Emma. Was Andy Doig a former SNP member?”

Councilor Rodden made the undiplomatic response: “Yes, jumped before he was pushed.”

Further congratulations were offered by other posters the following day, before another man added: “Well done once again Emma. Shame again for Graeme. Still can’t believe a certain someone got in at the first stage again though.”

She replied: “I know, gutted for Graeme. The unmentionable threw everything but the kitchen sink at me and I still upped my vote and got elected at stage 1, so his plan was not completely successful.

The poster, Daniel Graham, responds: “No doubt he’ll claim to be kingmaker again. If my calculations are correct then if Graeme had got in it would’ve been a slim majority, right?

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“Well done though again to you and all the others. Good to see so many hardworking names back at the council.”

The comment draws the response from Councilor Rodden, in the now deleted posts: “Yes, we’re thinking we can possibly do it without that walloper, we shall see.

“We’re one short of majority”.

The discussion appears to be related to the political composition of Renfrewshire Council, where the SNP fell short of being able to form a ruling majority in the administration.

The exchange was slammed by a political insider, who said: “Councillors shouldn’t refer to any colleagues as ‘wallopers’, let alone ones who they might need to form an administration.

“The SNP failed again to secure a majority on the council. They should be reaching out to fellow councillors, not insulting them.”

The insider added: “Calling a fellow colleague a ‘walloper’ doesn’t bode well for partnership working.”

Councillor Rodden’s fellow SNP election running mate Graeme Stockton failed to secure a place on the authority in the May 5 election.

Independent Councilor Doig was re-elected to represent the ward.

There is thought to be bad blood between some SNP members and Councilor Doig, who quit the SNP in 2017 after 38 years with the party.

At the time of the bitter split, he launched a scathing attack on the Nats, blasting top brass for using what he termed “McMafia tactics”.

Councillor Doig told the Express: “The voters have given their verdict and I think that’s testament to me, my work rate as a councillor and the fact that I’m there and getting re-elected by the electorate. That crosses all party lines, I represent the people of my ward, no matter what party.”

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Councillor Rodden denied she had made the comment in reference to Councillor Doig.

When contacted by the Express, she claimed the comments were made to someone with whom she had a “long-standing” association “about an activist” and said they were not related to Renfrewshire Council, despite the fact the posts make reference to a majority .

Political activists do not hold office on the authority.

Councillor Rodden told the Express: “I don’t really see that there’s any benefit here of giving me an official comment, I know who I’m talking about.

“It is not someone on the council.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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