Nicola Sturgeon at the SNP conference. Cameron Downing appeared alongside the First Minister the day the Sunday Mail published details of his violent online outbursts – despite the party insisting hours earlier it had “no record” of him holding an office-bearing role.
The 22-year-old has now quit his role in the SNP’s London branch after JK Rowling led condemnation of his comments and Sturgeon’s apparent lack of action.
In now deleted posts, Downing said he wanted to “beat the f*** out of some terfs and transphobes” and in another claimed: “I f****** hate terfs and transphobes with such a passion.” The term terf is an abbreviation for trans-exclusionary radical feminist and is a term used against women who do not recognise the gender identity of trans women.
He has been an equalities officer for the SNP’s London branch since August 2022.After publication of our story Rowling, 57, who has faced death threats from trans activists, spoke out against Sturgeon, writing: “Nicola Sturgeon’s Scotland: A place where an equalities officer feels free to declare in public how much he wants to beat up non-compliant women.”However we can reveal that as news of the scandal broke, the First Minister was at her party’s conference in Aberdeen happily posing for pictures with Downing.Scottish Conservative MSP Rachael Hamilton said: “I trust she was unaware of this person’s identity and wouldn’t have done so had she known.”The SNP’s Gender Reform Act is going through Holyrood and would reduce the time it takes for transgender people to have their chosen gender recognised.