RESIDENTS of Angus have launched an online petition to try to force Tory councillor Derek Wann to step down after he finally admitted to being behind a Unionist troll account.

The anonymous Twitter account, which opposition politicians say sent out “misogynistic and transphobic” messages, was named after the Lady Whistledown character in Netflix series Bridgerton.

Although Wann initially denied any involvement, the troll account was deleted around one hour after The National told the councillor that the final two digits of the phone number attached to it matched his own.

The revelations led Wann to openly admit to being the anti-SNP troll for the first time.

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He said: “I apologise sincerely for how I have handled this matter. My actions were unacceptable. I have now provided the [Conservative] party with the relevant facts so they can conduct an investigation.”

A Scottish Conservative spokesperson said an investigation was launched “immediately” after the new information came to light.

While the party has yet to take any action, The Courier has reported that locals are calling for the elected council member to “do the decent thing” and resign.

The National: Douglas Ross has been urged to take action and kick Derek Wann out of his partyDouglas Ross has been urged to take action and kick Derek Wann out of his party

The petition, started by the Flatpack Democracy Angus group, says Wann “has made disparaging remarks about female politicians, tragic circumstances and local towns in Angus”.

It goes on: “This online bully has represented Children and Learning and through his unwholly behaviour and gross misconduct has single handedly made a mockery of the good work done by others! His coat is rightfully on a shoogly peg for bringing Angus Council into disrepute.”

This is a reference to the fact that Wann is the convenor of the council’s Children and Learning committee. Despite running an anonymous troll account, the Tory also campaigned against online bullying and was linked to the “Angus, think before you type” initiative.

The petition ends: “Do the decent thing Cllr Wann, resign and leave decent people to hold public office genuinely working for the people of Angus with integrity, fairness, equality and kindness.”

Reports in The Courier say that Wann’s unmasking has thrown the administration of Angus Council into doubt, given the single-seat majority the coalition of Tories, Independents and a single LibDem currently has.

David Fairweather, an Independent and currently council leader, is reportedly a close ally of Wann and was following the Lady Whistledown account on Twitter.

Fairweather would not tell the Courier whether he intends to ask Wann to resign from the ruling administration or if he knew the Tory had been behind the troll account.

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Jill Scott, the chair of Brechin Community Council who personally received abusive messages from Wann’s troll account, said the news calls both Wann and Fairweather’s judgment into doubt.

She said: “For every moment that he tries to stay, both Derek Wann and David Fairweather’s judgment are in doubt. Any credibility that Derek Wann had is now gone and David’s is on the line if he makes any decision other than to remove him from the administration.

“In my opinion, the real Derek Wann was the content shared on Lady Whistledown – it is his public profiles and image that are fake.

“The tweets on this profile were callous and showed no concern for anyone’s mental well-being including myself.

“The people of Brechin have every right to be concerned at the prejudice from a senior councillor, who sits in cabinet with influence, making decisions that shape Angus.”