BUSINESSWOMAN Michelle Mone has told of how she left Scotland as she no longer felt safe in country “consumed by hatred and ill-will”.
In a critique of the SNP and its supporters, the lingerie tycoon said the way she became the target of a “vitriolic social media hate campaign” in the wake of the independence referendum forced her to move away from the country of her birth against her wishes.
For the first time I didn’t feel safe in ScotlandMichelle Mone
The divisive figure, who founded the Ultimo brand, called on First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to “take control” of her party’s supporters and predicted the fallout from last year’s vote was “only going to get worse.” Writing in a Sunday newspaper, the Glasgow-born millionaire directed a series of stinging accusations at the SNP, from government ministers to grassroots activists.
Reflecting on the exchanges she had on social media about Scotland’s future in the UK, the pro-Union campaigner said: “I found myself caught up in a growing and extremely vitriolic social media hate campaign after becoming one of only a few business leaders to come out in favour of both nations remaining together. For the first time I didn’t feel safe in Scotland.
“I have absolutely no problem with people expressing an opinion, but if you are going to be disrespectful, I don’t want to hear it.
“I was called a c***, a cow, a slut, as well as being told I’m ‘Going to get it’ and ‘We’ll come and get you’. I was also told they were ‘Going to throw me across the Border’.”
When it emerged that she planned to move away from Scotland, Mone originally said the decision was down to her career and “global commitments” which meant she is increasingly working in cities such as London and New York.
But in her article, she made clear that politics was the driving factor.
The 43-year-old explained: “The mood has got consistently worse and I now believe that the SNP’s Scotland is becoming a place consumed by hatred and ill-will, a place where free speech is gradually being crushed and enterprise is despised.
“It is no wonder, then, that I no longer wish to live in Scotland and have moved away from the place I’ve called home for 43 years.”
Mone, a former Labour supporter who backed the Conservatives at the General Election, also criticised the new intake of SNP MPs at Westminster, describing them as “muppets” who “whip up animosity”.
She condemned the “bitterness” she claims the SNP have “stirred up” following the referendum, which has led to supporters of the Union becoming a “target for hatred and negativity” in an “angry, divided nation.”
Addressing Ms Sturgeon, she added: “Nicola Sturgeon is a smart woman and she has been very successful at bringing her party to this point. But she needs to take control of her MPs.”