Retiring chief denies Facebook outburst

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The retiring leader of Angus Council has blamed ‘Facebook zombies’ for a social media outburst attributed to his account earlier this week.

Iain Gaul, the leader of Angus Council’s SNP administration, has promised to get to the bottom of the incident and believes that he has been the victim of Facebook hacking.

On Tuesday, a message was posted by Steve Milne on the Oor Kirrie (Auld n New) Facebook page correcting a typo in the telephone number on the election leaflet of Kirriemuir & Dean Conservative candidate Ronnie Proctor, on behalf of Mr Proctor who is not on Facebook.

The first response to the post purported to come from the personal Facebook page of Mr Gaul. That message drew a number of angry responses from page followers, going so far as to call for Mr Gaul’s resignation.

Speaking yesterday (Thursday) Mr Gaul told the Herald: “I deny the post. This is not my knowledge, somebody else has told me this - but I’ve got zombie accounts on Facebook.

“I don’t know what they are and I don’t know how they operate. I will get it sorted out.

“I don’t know what’s happened - it’s my personal Facebook page, somebody has had a go and we’ll get it sorted. It’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.”

The inflammatory message has since been removed. Later on the same message thread Mr Milne praised Mr Gaul for calling him personally to assure him the post had not come from himself and to apologise for any upset or inconvenience caused.

Mr Milne wrote: “As far as I’m concerned he deserves credit for actually calling and that should be that.”

Mr Gaul told the Herald: “I had a chat with Mr Milne yesterday (Wednesday) and he was quite happy.”

He has not ruled out contacting Police Scotland over the matter. Mr Gaul added: “It will depend on what comes out.

“The good thing is that the person who has done this has URLs, but don’t ask me what a URL is!”

Mr Gaul will retire from office following the Scottish Local Elections on May 4, and it is hoped his time in office will not end on a sour note.

He said: “We’ve achieved a great deal and people will make their own minds up. I’m not going to get myself uptight and agitated about things that I can’t control, we can only fix it.”