Scottish independence supporters turn on SNP MP Pete Wishart after Big Ben visit

Written by John Johnston on 10 March 2020 in Diary
Diary

The SNP's Pete Wishart has become embroiled in a major Twitter spat with fellow independence supporters after a seemingly innocuous visit to Big Ben.

The party's longest-serving MP was hit with the pile-on after he posted a selfie following a visit to see restoration work being carried out on the historic bell.

Mr Wishart, who also serves on the House of Commons Commission, sent the message saying he had been given a "fantastic trip" around Big Ben and praised the "simply immense" attention to detail on the "iconic" clock tower.

But the visit prompted fury from some within the Yes Movement, who accused the senior party figure of having "drunk the Westminster Kool Aid".

One Indy supporter tweeted: "Imagine him even tweeting about this. It shows you just how little he is aware of our dislike of Westminster. We don't care about a clock, let's use the money for our poor."

Alongside an image of a burning Union flag, one user added: "Who's fecking side are you on?"

Another said: "A photo shoot at the London clock. Get a grip. You're too comfy doon there."

While another suggested Mr Wishart should "join Scottish Labour, pass round the Union Jacks, get a peerage & put on the ermine..."

But the Perth and North Perthshire MP hit back at the abuse, saying he didn't know what "soft Yes observers" would make of the row.

"It’s my birthday today and I’ve had the usual ‘joyous’ contributions from some of my more ‘excitable’ ‘comrades’. Sorry if I can’t be bothered with this sort of rubbish anymore," he said.

"I am now on my second day of getting tweets like this about 'Big Ben'. Somehow people think this is a worthwhile pursuit and that I'll take them seriously. This is where some parts of Yes twitter is at. It seriously has to stop."

The row comes amid growing tensions among the independence movement over the timing of a second referendum.

Meanwhile, the SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford has called for "calm" among MPs after rows between senior party figures spilled into the open over the leadership's handling of the issue.

"The party's not going to split, the party is united on its desire to see the people of Scotland have the right to choose," he said.

"We need to stay on the path that we're on and I'd encourage colleagues and supporters to have that strength of character to recognise that we will win, but we will win through our unity of purpose."

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