JOANNA Cherry and Murdo Fraser are among the politicians and media figures who have given their support to the Scottish version of Toby Young’s Free Speech Union ahead of its launch.

Young, a controversial figure who has been accused of “homophobia and misogyny” due to a string of now-deleted tweets in which he criticised women's bodies, referred to a bar as being full of “hardcore dykes”, and said a gay celebrity looked “queer as a coot”, set up the organisation just over two years ago.

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Young launched the Free Speech Union in late February 2020, before taking on a staunch anti-lockdown position, finding himself censured by press regulator IPSO after making “significantly misleading” claims about Covid-19.

The Free Speech Union’s website currently offers the option of becoming a “Gold Member” for £250 a year, which will allow the person “meetings with directors”.

The Scottish version of the organisation is due to launch later this month, with SNP MP and QC Cherry having signed up to its advisory board.

She wrote on Twitter: “I’m pleased to join cross-party politicians, writers and academics on the advisory board of the Free ⁦@SpeechUnion⁩ as it launches in Scotland.

“It’s important to resist inroads on our right to #FreedomOfSpeech under Art. 10 #ECHR”

Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Cherry was referring, states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression.”

However, it says this right may be tempered “for the protection of health or morals, [or] for the protection of the reputation or rights of others”, among other things.

Tory MSP Murdo Fraser has also come out in support of the organisation, although it is unclear if he will be on its advisory board alongside Cherry.

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He wrote on Twitter: “Delighted to be supporting the Free Speech Union in Scotland – defending free speech is now more important than ever.”

Others to have come out in support of the launch are former SNP deputy leader Jim Sillars, poet Jenny Lindsay, education policy professor Lindsay Paterson, and journalist Iain Macwhirter.

The organisation's founder, Young, further faced criticism after tweeting often about women’s bodies, telling TV host Claudia Winkleman to “put on some weight, girlie”, suggesting he preferred her breasts that way.

In total, the Guardian reported that Young had deleted more than 47,000 tweets. He has denied he is either homophobic or misogynistic.