Rowling row charity 'tweet hacked'

Witney Gazette: Harry Potter author JK Rowling has made a donation to the No campaign Harry Potter author JK Rowling has made a donation to the No campaign

A charity linked to a tweet criticising JK Rowling after she donated £1 million to the No to Scottish independence campaign has said its account was hacked.

The Harry Potter author pledged her support for the Better Together camp yesterday and wrote a blog post detailing the ''serious risks'' of independence.

Her donation is by far the biggest yet for the pro-union campaign, while Yes Scotland has benefited from £2.5 million from Colin and Chris Weir, who won £161 million in the EuroMillions lottery in 2011.

Criticism of the author quickly flooded in on Twitter, with one tweet from Edinburgh-based charity the Dignity Project reading: ''What a #bitch after we gave her shelter in our city when she was a single mum.''

However the Dignity Project, which describes itself as an African Child Education Programme, said it was not behind the tweet.

A disclaimer on its website stated: " The Dignity Project h as had it's Twitter account hacked.

"We are not responsible for any tweets that have been sent.

"As a charity we do not take any political stance and our opinion is people are free to donate to whoever they choose.

"To the people who hacked our account if helping African children to thrive and survive including single mums is bad thing that is their problem."

The Scottish Charity Regulator said yesterday that it will be making "urgent inquiries" into the matter and seeking further information from the charity trustees.

Rowling, who lives in Edinburgh, has written about her views on her website, highlighting her concerns about the economy and medical research.

She said that, while she is ''no fan of the current Westminster Government'', she has concerns about the economic risks of independence.

Scottish Conservative chief whip John Lamont said Rowling is a " tremendous ambassador" for the country but had been forced to endure "the most extreme personal abuse imaginable".

He added: "Some of the comments made about her are abhorrent and if they were made public in the street would surely be a criminal offence.

Shadow scottish secretary Margaret Curran welcomed Rowling's stance on independence and criticised the ''vile abuse''.

Ms Curran said: ''I think it's really one of the most disturbing elements of this campaign that people are subjected to such abuse online. Particularly when we see voices from beyond the political world speaking and they are subjected to vile abuse.

''This has to stop. It's time to let people speak their minds freely without any fear of retribution.''

The Prime Minister's spokesman also welcomed the support from the author and criticised online comments.

Speaking at a regular Westminster briefing, David Cameron's official spokesman said: ''There is never any place for abusive behaviour in whatever sphere of life.''

A spokesman for Yes Scotland said: ''While we may disagree with her views, we of course completely respect JK Rowling and her right to express her opinion on the referendum and donate to the No campaign.''

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