Lib Dems ‘split’ on independence, claim Conservatives

The Tories accused the Lib Dems of 'hyprocrisy' over its pro-Union message. Picture: TSPL
The Tories accused the Lib Dems of 'hyprocrisy' over its pro-Union message. Picture: TSPL
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The Tories have accused the Liberal Democrats of ‘hypocrisy’ after the party selected a Westminster candidate who previously expressed sympathy for Scottish independence, including writing poetry on the subject.

Jenny Blain, Lib Dem candidate in Dundee West, wrote in a blog that she couldn’t “begin to tell you how much I have been saddened by the Scottish Lib Dems’ support of No”.

Urging former leader Nick Clegg to “break the outdated union”, the former lecturer also described Willie Rennie’s support for the Smith Commission as “laughable”.

The candidate added that Scotland had been “betrayed” by the 1707 Act of Union.

Ms Blain, a “pagan with an interest in shamanic rituals”, also penned poetry including the line: “I know that you know, when I vote for independence, that this is not about you, or your hopes or aspirations.”

Willie Rennie launched the Scottish Lib Dem manifesto yesterday claiming the party stood against the SNP’s independence agenda.

The party leader said some voters were “spitting mad” about the prospect of a second referendum.

But the Conservatives said Lib Dems were split on the constitutional question, pointing to the selection of Blain.

Scottish Conservative Angus candidate Kirstene Hair said: “Willie Rennie is appealing to pro-Union voters by insisting he will oppose a second referendum.

“At the same time, he is fielding candidates who supported independence in the 2014 referendum and who have described the union as ‘outdated’.

“It is typical two-faced Lib Dem hypocrisy.

“If Willie Rennie wants to re-brand himself as the defender of the Union, he should explain why he’s backing independence-supporting candidates.

Ms Blain said her views on independence had changed.

“The referendum was three years ago. Times have changed and we need to defend all the UK against an extreme Brexit,” she said.

“My end-goal is a strong Scotland within a federal United Kingdom, not independence, and Lib Dems are pledged to push for a Federal situation, with the powers that should be Scottish coming to Scotland.

“It’s quite flattering to have Tories reading my poetry, but they don’t seem to have much understanding of poetic expression.”

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