Following allegations in the national media about their involvement in SNP dirty tricks involving the Labour for Independence group, East Lothian Labour is calling on the county's SNP leaders to apologise for their part in this sham and reveal who sanctioned the involvement of their members in deceiving local voters.
The national allegations centre on SNP members, including councillors and at least one current MSP, propping up the sham group, which very few actual Labour members or supporters are involved in, by delivering Labour for Independence leaflets, staffing campaign stalls and posing in photos with the group's banners. They are doing all of this to try and deceive the public while trying to make this look like a Labour Party campaign. The fact that one of the leaflets seeks to reassure people that a vote for independence is not a vote for Alex Salmond shows that they know how deeply unpopular he is with Labour supporters.
At least one local SNP councillor, Peter MacKenzie, has been photographed behind a Labour for Independence banner in Tranent, and was most recently seen supporting the group on North Berwick High Street. Other SNP members are also known to have been involved in supporting the group's activity in the county, while one former member, Celia Fitzgerald from Dunbar, has admitted to the press that she left the SNP and joined the Labour Party simply to agitate from within for independence.
Commenting on the evidence revealed this week, Robert McNeill, Chair of the Tranent and District branch Labour Party, said:
"While the extent of the involvement of elected SNP figures in this deception is quite shocking, it is certainly not surprising. We first became aware of it some months ago when our own supporters complained about SNP councillors and members in East Lothian giving out Labour for Independence leaflets and staffing a campaign stall. Now one former SNP member had admitted joining Labour simply to undermine the party over the referendum. This attempt to trick voters has backfired badly on them and now no-one will be able to take the Labour separatist group seriously.
“Questions must also be asked about the local SNP leadership’s knowledge of this deception. Have they been helping fund the group? Have their members been involved in delivering the misleading Labour for Independence leaflets which describe this tiny group as ‘real Labour’? Did someone persuade Ms Fitzgerald to infiltrate the Labour Party? If the SNP's local leaders agreed that it was acceptable for their members to be involved in this bid to fool voters, then it certainly calls into question their judgement and they should now apologise to local people."
"As usual with the SNP, there are more questions than answers."