Tory MSP called to apologise for double “smear” over SNP’s national survey 

SNP say Tories have lost control of an “increasingly right-wing rabble” at Holyrood

RACHAEL HAMILTON MSP has been asked to apologise for misinformation she has published over the SNP’s national survey on Scotland’s constitutional future. 

Hamilton, a Tory list MSP in the South of Scotland region, confused the party’s survey campaign for an official government initiative - and retracted her erroneous statement that taxpayers money would be spent on the survey after criticism. 

However, Hamilton repeated the assumption that the survey was a Scottish Government run survey, calling it “a state snooping exercise”.

The national survey is an SNP initiative encouraging conversations with the public, run by party officials with SNP funding - without Scottish Government support. 

SNP MSP Emma Harper condemned Hamilton’s comments and called for a full apology.

“While she appears to have edited her original blogpost, Rachael Hamilton must explicitly withdraw this smear and apologise for misleading the public,” Harper told CommonSpace.

“Either Ms Hamilton has no basic understanding of how political parties operate separately from the civil service or she is deliberately misleading. Either way, it’s not acceptable for politicians to make such blatantly untrue claims.” Emma Harper MSP

“Either Ms Hamilton has no basic understanding of how political parties operate separately from the civil service or she is deliberately misleading. Either way, it’s not acceptable for politicians to make such blatantly untrue claims.”

The new Tory opposition at Holyrood has been dragged into a range of muddles and scandals since the 2016 Scottish election result in May.

A Tory attempt to challenge the national survey through the Electoral Commission was dismissed by the watchdog within a matter of hours. 

The party’s press team also released a xenophobic slur against French-born former MSP Christian Allard, stating it was “bizarre that an EU citizen” was taking part in political decisions in Aberdeenshire.

CommonSpace also reported on a student backlash against Tory MSP Murdo Fraser for calling the National Union of Students “bigots” in a late-night social media session.

Speaking on the Tory controversies, Harper added: “This is the latest embarrassment for Ruth Davidson, after the Electoral Commission dismissed her nonsense claims of breaching electoral law and her press office implied that EU citizens shouldn’t be able to participate in Scottish politics.
 
“After pledging to be a strong opposition, it appears that Ruth Davidson can’t even keep control over her increasingly right-wing rabble of MSPs – whose outbursts in recent weeks have ranged from the ill-judged to the downright offensive. She needs to get a grip on her party – and quickly.”

Hamilton passed a request to comment onto the Conservative press team.

A spokespeerson for the party said: “As soon as it became clear the survey wasn’t funded by the Scottish Government, that particular section was removed.”

Picture: Rachael Hamilton

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