BUTTONS the cat thas lost an appeal to become a candidate in a new University of Aberdeen Rector election despite support from a top Scots author.

The campus moggie became a cause célèbre after we revealed that a group of sixty students signed a rectorial nomination form supporting the cat's bid to become the new Rector in the wake of disillusionment with the election process.

The bid was officially rejected by the election co-ordinator because the cat was not human.

READ MORE: Hundreds protest ban on Buttons the cat as Aberdeen University Rector candidate

And after an appeal it emerged that the newly published candidates list came without Buttons.


It all emerged two months after the University was at the centre of an "abuse of power" row as it ratified a decision to scrap the Rector election over allegations of "dirty tricks" by the campaign for Maggie Chapman, the co-convenor of the Scottish Greens.

A re-vote was called for after at least one other candidate wanted Ms Chapman, the current Rector, removed from the ballot in a row over hundreds of campaign posters being torn down.

There were complaints a smaller number of posters were also removed by other candidates but it was claimed Ms Chapman's campaign was the worst offender.

READ MORE: Hundreds protest ban on Buttons the cat as Aberdeen University Rector candidate

The University has confirmed that the candidates facing off for the right to become the new Rector are Maggie Chapman, the co-convenor of the Scottish Greens, singer, broadcaster and producer Fiona Kennedy, student Angus Hepburn, from Kippen, near Stirling, student Israrullah Khan and solicitor James Steel. Andrew Bowie, the MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine has dropped out of the race.

A University spokesman said they had been "advised by the Election Committee that the appeal won’t be upheld".

The confirmation came after Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh sought support for the Buttons case.



After the announcement about the candidate list was made, the Buttons for Rector campaign said: "All human candidates? Outrageous! Email and let them know we want Buttons for Rector!"

The nomination explains that Buttons is a white cat who lives on campus and that campaigners decided that he is the "right individual to represent the interests of the student body".

They said the reasons to vote for Buttons were that he lived locally, engages with the student daily, is a political and "is fluffy and friendly".

"Buttons is a chance for the student population to truly stand up and have their say after such an unfortunate election last year. Buttons stands for change," says the campaign group.

"Vote for Cats not Bureaucrats!"

Phil Hannaford, the election returning officer ruled that Buttons does not meet the requirements under the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator Guidelines to being a charity trustee.

READ MORE: Hundreds protest ban on Buttons the cat as Aberdeen University Rector candidate

Election co-ordinator Nicholas Edwards told the campaigners: "Both the returning officer and I appreciate Buttons' interest in the role and wish him well in his future endeavours."


More than 300 have signed an online petition started by Alex Kither of the campaign to get as much support for an appeal against the decision.

The ancient post of Rector of the University of Aberdeen has a rich tradition dating back to the foundation of the institution in 1495 and has been held by notables such as former Prime Ministers Winston Churchill and Herbert Henry Asquith, steel industrialist Andrew Carnegie and actor Iain Cuthbertson.