THE Tories' candidate for the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election has been branded a “hypocrite” for his comments on gender reform just weeks after posing with an LGBT flag.

Thomas Kerr, the Tories group leader on Glasgow City Council, where they have two members, took part in a photo op during Pride Month with other members of the local authority outside of the city chambers.

Kerr was pictured smiling alongside a number of other councillors who were holding an LGBT Pride flag, and has previously written about his horror that a “small minority of the population are being weaponised” in a column for our sister paper the Glasgow Times.

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And, when the photograph celebrating Pride Month was posted on June 22, Kerr wrote: “Some things are bigger than politics ... this is it! #LoveIsLove.”

Kerr responded to the criticism by stating it did a "disservice" to supporters of LGBT equality and insisted he is an "unequivocal" supporter of gender reform, but had issues with the GRR Bill. 

But, just days after being announced as the Tories' candidate for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, Kerr attacked Labour’s candidate Michael Shanks for backing self-ID and the Gender Recognition Reform Bill.

We previously told how the GRR legislation was blocked by the Scotland Office from being given Royal Assent, a move that is now subject to a legal challenge by the Scottish Government.

The National:

On Thursday, Kerr shared a screenshot of a Telegraph article with the headline: “Labour by-election candidate clashes with Keir Starmer on self-ID.

“Michael Shanks says he does not agree with the two-child benefit cap and backs the SNP’s gender self-ID Bill.”

Writing above the screenshot, Kerr said: “The SNP's Gender Reform Bill risks the safety of women across Scotland.

“Despite opposition from their own voters, Labour’s candidate in Rutherglen & Hamilton West backs this flawed bill.

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“If voters want an alternative to this cosy alliance, then @ScotTories are offering it.”

Scottish Labour's Keiran O’Neill, a councillor for Maryhill, wrote: “It wasn’t that long ago Thomas stood in solidarity (quite literally) with LGBT+ people… now he is just doing gutter politics because the Tories literally have nothing positive to say. So disappointing.”

Mhairi Hunter, former Glasgow SNP councillor, added: “What a difference being selected as a by-election candidate makes…”

National columnist Ellie Gomersall weighed in, sharing the picture of Kerr and his fellow councillors with the Pride flag, adding: “It takes some brass neck to pose for a photo op for pride then just weeks later spread transphobic lies as soon as you're selected as a by-election candidate.”

The National:

“This you? Being a hypocrite. Well I guess talking through your ass is par for the course for Tories,” wrote Heather Herbert, a Scottish Greens member.

“Thomas has been a rare Tory willing to stick his neck out and defend LGBT+ rights, which takes guts in a place as hostile to that as the Tories,” one social media user said.

“If he’s willing to drop it the moment he’s selected for a Westminster by-election, then he was never a friend of the LGBT+ community/ Another said simply: “Thought you were better than this. Sad.”

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In response to the claims, Kerr said: “The responses sent to me by Councillor O’Neill, among others, do a disservice to supporters of LGBT + equality, of which I am most certainly one.

“Using inflammatory language, as he does, is deeply unhelpful when the debate around this issue is already toxic enough.

“Those taking issue with my post know that I am an unequivocal supporter of gender reform. Raising concerns over the SNP’s flawed bill doesn’t change that commitment.

 “Voters across Scotland – including many who typically back Labour and the SNP – are opposed to this bill and I believe my view pragmatically reflects those concerns, while wholeheartedly remaining a proud ally of our LGBT + community.”