Paul Hutcheon
Investigations Editor

THE boss of a renewable energy company which is investing millions in the
Highlands has apologised for making a series of offensive comments about
gays and disabled people on social media.
Apology: Manager Matt Braund’s Facebook page has now been removed

ABO Wind UK manager Matt Braund referred on Facebook to “homsexual [sic] retarded” sportsmen, urged lesbians to stop looking like men, and described
singer Cheryl Cole as a “spastic”. He also said the late Boyzone star
Stephen Gately, who died at the age of 33, “had it coming”. Gately was
hailed as a hero of gay rights before his death.

ABO Wind UK, a subsidiary of a German-based offshore wind company, said
last year it was spearheading a £390 million investment programme in the

One initiative in Sutherland is up and running and ABO Wind is also
investigating the “potential” for a 25-turbine development in the Kilmorack
Community Council area.

The firm’s Inverness office was also opened last year by Scottish
Government Energy Minister Fergus Ewing.

However, Braund, ABO Wind UK’s project development manager, is now in the
spotlight over a series of inappropriate comments on social media.

In May 2010, a day after the General Election, Braund wrote: “Can’t
understand why we don’t get rid of the public sector once and for all. Fed
up with this country being brought down by too much money being spent on
work shy t***s who don’t have the balls to get jobs and lower my tax bill.”

Later that month, he posted: “Reckons Steven [sic] Gately had it coming!”

Two days later, he commented: “Is it me or is Sheryl [sic] Cole just a
stupid geordie spastic?”

In June of that year, he wrote: “I suppose i should be shouting my support
for the homsexual [sic], retarded “sportsmen” that are just about to
represent our country abroad.”

In September last year, five months after Ewing opened ABO Wind UK’s
Inverness office, Braund wrote: “Just seen a couple of island lesbians …
women of that certain disposition should understand that if you hate men so
much, you should stop trying to look like them!”

Braund’s Facebook account was public and the posts were available when this
newspaper contacted the ABO press office at 2.20pm on Friday afternoon.
Thirty-five minutes later, the account was no longer available.

In the press release to mark the opening of the Highlands office, Ewing was
quoted saying: “Today it has been a pleasure to meet with staff at ABO and
to open their new office in Inverness.”

Denise Davis, the former leader of the Druim Ba Say No anti-wind farm
campaign, said: “I am disturbed and revolted by the posts and comments Matt
Braund made public on his Facebook page.”

Lyndsey Ward, of the ABO-We Say No anti-wind farm campaign group, said: “I
couldn’t believe anyone is this day and age would be so insulting to those
groups of people in a public forum. These are not the antics of a
mischievous schoolboy who doesn’t know any better. This is someone in a
position of responsibility who deals with the public and politicians,
including a Government minister.”

Braund said yesterday: “I am aware of the comments that have been
attributed to me on my Facebook page. These comments are accurate and they
were posted by me. However, they were not intended for public consumption
and they were not posted to purposely offend anyone. I apologise that some
of the language used and the comments made are inappropriate.

“To remedy the situation I have now removed my Facebook page. In future I
will ensure that I am more aware of the dangers of using social media to
share private remarks with close friends. I do not condone the use of
offensive comments and on this occasion I have let myself down.”

A spokesman for ABO Wind UK said: “ABO Wind is aware of the personal
comments that have been attributed to our employee Matt Braund. We have
asked him to explain if these comments are accurate and on what basis they
were made. We will review the situation once we have the benefit of his
explanation. ABO is a company that values our engagement with the
community. We disassociate ourselves from all comments of an offensive nature.”

SAS Volunteer

We publish content from 3rd party sources for educational purposes. We operate as a not-for-profit and do not make any revenue from the website. If you have content published on this site that you feel infringes your copyright please contact: to have the appropriate credit provided or the offending article removed.


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *