Scottish Labour Students sparks outrage after tweeting: “To be clear: ACAB”.
Following a Trans Pride march in central London on Saturday, where trans activists claimed the police shut down the event early, Labour activist Maliha Reza took to Twitter to say: “Hope everyone at Trans Pride is having a wonderful day! Stay safe and ACAB my loves,” which resulted in her Twitter account being suspended.
This was later retweeted by Scottish Labour Students with the caption, “To be clear: ACAB”.
ACAB is a well-known acronym for “All Cops Are B*stards”.
The Twitter account of Mariam Shaaban, the Chair of Scottish Labour Students, has also been suspended after she retweeted: “F*ck the police that shut it down early, so yes, ACAB”. Shaaban has been subject to criticism in the past, after voicing her delight when Prime Minister Boris Johnson was diagnosed with COVID-19 in March, saying her “prayers had been answered”.
The tweets have sparked a response by Scottish Labour Leader Richard Leonard, who also took to Twitter to show his dismay, stating: “I utterly condemn the remarks made by Scottish Labour Students. I have family who have served in the police. It was an outrageous statement to make.”
The tweet has since been removed amid the negative responses, with Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf branding the ACAB tweet “disgraceful”.
The General Secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, Calum Steele, said: “I am sure the thousands of officers who place their lives on the line every single day, and their families and friends, will consider the reaction of the Scottish Labour Party to this outrage when they come to cast their ballot next year.”
The Scottish Labour Students have since tweeted an apology, which reads:
“We have deleted a prior tweet as it snowballed to itself becoming the story. Its original point was to show support for London Trans Pride attendees in the face of police shutting down the event.”
They added in the comments: “We are sorry our clumsy use of language obscured the real issue and apologise to our trans comrades who have our support now and always.”
The Scottish Labour Students group were affiliated with the Scottish Labour website. However, party sources have insisted they are no longer officially affiliated.