An SNP councillor has apologised for a "reactionary" pledge to ban her children from reading Harry Potter after JK Rowling was accused of supporting a tweeter accused of trolling.
Rowling, an Edinburgh resident and a prominent opponent of Scottish independence, was accused of endorsing bad behaviour by sending friendly tweets to an anonymous account that had posted abuse.
Rowling denied this and Glasgow MP Natalie McGarry, formerly of the SNP, apologised for saying so. Rowling has implied she may yet sue the politician for suggesting this.
Rosa Zambonini, who was elected to North Lanarkshire Council in August, tweeted she would ban her children from reading the boy wizard books, saying: "I'd rather my kids looked to someone who never interacts with trolls."
Scenes. An SNP councillor bans her children from reading Harry Potter. pic.twitter.com/25Zys59Oe4
— Jamie Ross (@JamieRoss7) January 30, 2016
After a huge, mocking backlash, she tweeted she had been "bombarded" and apologised.
She wrote: "I can admit saying my kids were banned from H. Potter was a reactionary tweet. Sorry if I offended."
She added she would set her Twitter account to private as she was going to be away with her children.
The whole affair led people to speculate the previously little-known councillor's Twitter account was fake.
It *is* a real account, not a parody. But she's now apologised. Unclear if the Harry Potter ban still applies tho https://t.co/gEn6W2eNjK
— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) January 30, 2016
Journalists' and politicians' predominant reaction was to fall about laughing.
Charity appeal: Please give all you can spare to buy the poor Zambonini kids a Harry Potter boxset. https://t.co/2QwJlcVoWH
— Nick Cohen (@NickCohen4) January 30, 2016
— John Woodcock (@JWoodcockMP) January 30, 2016
Rowling retweeted this tweet from Scottish journalist Stephen Daisley who asked:
What do the SNP and fundamentalist Christians in Alabama have in common? https://t.co/WLvXlFTFpH
— Stephen Daisley (@JournoStephen) January 30, 2016
On Thursday night, McGarry called Rowling out for posting messages of support for 'Brian Spanner', a Unionist writing under a pseudonym who has a self-admitted history of sending abusive tweets to pro-independence politicians.
Rowling, 50, continually called for proof she supported misogynistic trolling, until the Glasgow East MP eventually conceded and wrote an apology.
"On reflection, I do apologise for any misguided inference that you support misogyny or abuse instead of the folk you tweet," she wrote.
But the MP later shared screenshots of historic tweets by Rowling and Spanner that implied she was endorsing his abuse.
In fact, the screenshots had had their dates removed and Rowling had actually been tweeting to Spanner, calling him a "good man", in response to a charity donation, not in response to him calling politicians abusive names.
The man who produced the screenshots apologised and made a donation to Lumos, Rowling's charity that helps children who have been placed in institutions.
On Saturday, Rowling implied she may yet take legal action against McGarry in a tweet to a reporter who said she would "not".
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 30, 2016