SNP blast illiberal and undemocratic LibDem leader

It is “illiberal and undemocratic” for Lib Dem Leader Willie Rennie to suggest that someone should lose their job for engaging in the constitutional debate, the SNP has said.

Mr Rennie has called for the Chief Executive of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations Martin Sime to ‘consider his position’, describing the SCVO as a “front organisation” for the SNP Government, for taking a different view to the Lib Dems.

SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell has suggested that the Lib Dems do not intend to allow any constitutional debate ahead of the referendum, for fear of what they might hear.

Commenting, Mr Maxwell – who sat alongside Willie Rennie on the Scottish Parliament’s Scotland Bill Committee - said:

“This outburst from Willie Rennie is both illiberal and undemocratic. He is basically saying that no one should be allowed to have any debate or engagement on Scotland’s constitutional future, unless they agree with the Lib Dems.

“Of course, the irony is that Willie Rennie’s Lib Dems claim to support significantly more powers for the Scottish Parliament – and Mr Rennie has even set up a Home Rule Commission to look at this.

"But in reality, Willie Rennie and his Tory allies are offering Scotland nothing, and it is in fact Willie Rennie that is the 'frontman' - for the Tories in Scotland.

“This outburst against a respected public figure sets a terrible precedent for how anyone else who wants to take part in shaping Scotland’s constitutional future will be treated by the Lib Dems.

“The more the Lib Dems and other anti-independence parties try to silence any debate on the constitution, the more people in Scotland will be inclined to support independence.”

For details, see 6 of today’s Herald.

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