Police confirm probe into 'homophobic' abuse shouted at Patrick Harvie

The Greens co-leader was giving an interview when a man repeatedly shouted 'deviant' at him.

Police Scotland confirms investigation into ‘homophobic’ abuse hurled at Patrick Harvie Flickr

Police Scotland has confirmed it is investigating alleged homophobic comments hurled at Patrick Harvie during a broadcast interview.

The Scottish Greens co-leader was talking to the BBC on the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election campaign trail when a passer-by repeatedly shouted, “you’re a deviant” at him.

Harvie, who is bisexual, replied: “You’re a bigot”.

On Thursday, the Scottish Green Party said it had reported the comments to the police.

And by Friday, officers confirmed they were looking into the incident.

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “We are aware of alleged homophobic comments being made and enquiries are ongoing.”

Harvie later said “toxic forces” in politics had brought about a rise in anti-LGBT attacks in the UK.

The housing minister, who is a vocal proponent of the Scottish Government’s controversial gender reforms, said: “The fact is there are some pretty toxic forces in politics at the moment that have unleashed homophobia and transphobia in a way that we haven’t seen in many, many years.

“Those who have cultivated this nasty kind of culture war against minorities need to take responsibility for verbal abuse like that but also for violence that we’ve seen rising against LGBT+ people.”

Anti-LGBT hate crime is rising, figures show.iStock

In May, it was revealed that hate crimes aggravated by sexual orientation had more than doubled since 2013 to reach an all-time high.

Humza Yousaf previously lent his support to Harvie, saying: “I understand people hold strong views about politicians but there is simply no excuse, none whatsoever for bigotry and hatred aimed towards anyone.

“Disgraceful, disgusting and completely unacceptable. Solidarity with Patrick Harvie.”

A spokesperson for the Greens said: “We can confirm that the Scottish Greens have contacted Police Scotland to report a verbal attack involving homophobic language against our co-leader Patrick Harvie.

“This happened during a TV interview with BBC Scotland News at the launch of our Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election campaign on Tuesday lunchtime. 

“No one in modern Scotland should have to endure anti LGBTI+ abuse or any other forms of discrimination.

“The safety and wellbeing of our MSPs, staff and activists is our primary concern and we will not tolerate such behaviour.

“We would urge anyone with information about this incident or that can lead to the identification of the individual involved to please contact police.”

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