GP, 31, who called woman ‘a venomous transphobic bigot’ and said ‘Cis people are just awful’ as he used Twitter to abuse people who opposed to his pro-transgender views, has his registration suspended
- Family GP Dr Adrian Harrop, 31, called one person ‘venomous transphobic bigot’
- He said their aim was to ‘demonise trans people and exclude them from public’
- The tribunal accepted Dr Harrop, from Liverpool, had been joking in his tweets
- But it still found that it was inappropriate for a GP to post these in a public forum
A GP has been suspended after admitting he used his Twitter to pursue a series of social media rivals opposed to his pro-transgender views.
Dr Adrian Harrop, 31, called one person ‘a venomous transphobic bigot’ whose central aim was to ‘demonise trans people and exclude them from public life’.
He said in another tweet: ‘Cis people, on the whole, are just awful and there needs to be a massive state-sponsored programme of re-education’.
He expressed disappointment that this idea had not gained ‘more traction at the Labour Party conference’.
The tribunal accepted Dr Harrop, a salaried GP at the Brownlow Surgery in Liverpool, had been joking but still found it inappropriate for a GP to post in a public forum.
Dr Adrian Harrop, 31, called one person ‘a venomous transphobic bigot’ whose central aim was to ‘demonise trans people and exclude them from public life’
In relation him blasting a female rival as ‘a venomous transphobic bigot’, it said there was no evidence of any personal offence having been taken.
It was therefore not satisfied the tweet was ‘objectively offensive’.
In another tweet Dr Harrop said: ‘Reality is that TERFS aren’t interested in anything of the sort – they dress up their hatred and bigotry towards trans people in a veil of ‘genuine concerns re ”safety” and ”civil, intellectual debate”, but in truth it’s complete nonsense. TERFS hate Trans. Simple as that.’
Since March, Dr Harrop has also worked for Cheshire and Merseyside Gender Identity Collaborative as a GP with an interest in gender affirmative healthcare.
The tribunal agreed that in a tweet posted on January 29, 2019, the doctor had given clues about where a user known as Person B worked, the job he did, and where he lived.
These clues included the details of a bed and breakfast a short distance from the man’s home, along with the suggestion to pro-trans campaigners that they might go there. ‘The more the merrier’, said Dr Harrop.
However, the tribunal found against the GMC’s allegation he had intended to reveal the location to his followers, saying the information had previously been disclosed by Person B and that Dr Harrop’s supporters could easily have obtained the information elsewhere on the internet.
Furthermore, Person B himself had tweeted at the time he was not intimidated by the GP’s tweets. Dr Harrop’s intention had merely been ‘to annoy or frustrate’ his rival.
On September 29, 2020, the GP accused Person D of engaging ‘in a sustained and targeted campaign’ against numerous individuals, including many of his friends, ‘apparently in the name of the ‘gender critical’ cause.
He added: ‘It is time that this was brought to an end, by whatever means necessary’.
The tribunal ruled the tweet was’ inappropriate and ill-advised’ but accepted Dr Harrop’s explanation he had meant only ‘legal and legitimate’ means.
With no other evidence available, it could not make a finding that the GP had ‘attempted to incite or insinuate violence’.
Dr Harrop urged Person E not to ‘get your knickers in a twist’, before going on to suggest the ‘fabulous’ idea of a trans activists’ trip taking in Westminster Cathedral and Waterloo Station before ending up at the iconic Wentworth golf club in Virginia Water, Surrey – close to the woman’s home.
The tweet was decorated with emojis representing a golf course, a church and a train. Another tweet referred to the schools attended by Person E’s children.
At another point he said of her: ‘Ultimately it’s all about personal notoriety and exposure… the children are clearly of secondary importance, and are likely to be written off as collateral damage should any of her actions lead them to sustaining psychological trauma’.
The tribunal said it had been inappropriate for Dr Harrop to comment on the psychological state of someone he didn’t know, and about any possible ‘damage’ to her children.
It went on to condemn the GP for retweeting ‘highly offensive’ and misogynistic messages about Person E.
One of these said: ‘We are supposed to believe that the LGBT baiting, bigoted, vile catholic c*** @(Person E) is some kind of victim: After she purposefully and intentionally antagonises the lgbt community, she completely deserves all the vitriol she receives.
Another read: ‘Someone…suggested cross-referencing these behaviour patterns with the cycle of the moon…unsure if there’s any direct correlation per se, but it’s a fun theory nevertheless’.
The tribunal said the retweeting of highly offensive language and the tweeting of ‘misogynistic references to women’s menstrual cycles’ were further examples of wholly inappropriate communications by Dr Harrop.
But it rejected Person E’s complaint that Dr Harrop had continued his Twitter campaign against her, arguing that she had done likewise.
‘The tribunal considered Person E’s request for him to stop tweeting was somewhat contradictory and paradoxical,’ said its ruling.
‘Both sides appeared to be intent on provoking each other…the tribunal was not satisfied on the balance of probabilities that Dr Harrop’s subjective intent was to intimidate Person E.
The allegation that Dr Harrop’s Twitter campaign against E amounted to cyber-bullying was also rejected.
Many of his tweets appeared to be in reply to E’s own messages, and therefore on the balance of probabilities the GMC had failed to demonstrate on the evidence that he had undertaken a campaign of cyber-bullying.
The two-week hearing heard that Dr Harrop sent out hundreds of tweets under his real name and with a ‘biog’ that clearly identified him. He accepted some of a series of allegations against him, but denied all claims of intimidation.
Ryan Donoghue told the tribunal: ‘He was motivated by a different view on transgender rights. He felt so strongly that he was right that he saw it as his job to silence those on the other side of the debate’.
At times his behaviour could be described as ‘sinister’, he alleged.
Overall, the tribunal found that his misconduct had impaired his fitness to practice. It suspended his registration for a month.
Today’s ruling said: ‘The tribunal considered that Dr Harrop’s actions in posting inappropriate tweets over a sustained period of time, in contradiction to the advice he was given, breached fundamental tenets of the profession.
‘His actions brought the profession into disrepute, undermining public confidence in the profession and the standards of conduct expected from members of the profession’.
The tribunal added: ‘Whilst Dr Harrop has a right to his views and to express them, the manner and thought processes he demonstrated raised concerns regarding the extent of his insight, and his inability to fully appreciate the wider context of his obligations as a doctor.’
In a written statement to the tribunal Dr Harrop said he was ‘deeply sorry’ for having fallen short of expectations, ‘not only for myself but also because of the broader impact this may have had on the public’s trust in my profession.
‘I have taken meaningful and substantial steps to address the issues that have been highlighted and would like to assure the tribunal and the GMC that I will make every effort in the future not to repeat the same or similar errors of judgment.’
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