Scots Labour spin doctor probed over Salmond jibe

Paul Sinclair, left, and First Minister Alex Salmond. Mr Sinclair is facing a probe over comments he made on Twitter. Picture: Complimentary

Paul Sinclair, left, and First Minister Alex Salmond. Mr Sinclair is facing a probe over comments he made on Twitter. Picture: Complimentary

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A SCOTTISH Labour spin doctor is facing an investigation after he referred to Alex Salmond as an “a***” on Twitter.

Paul Sinclair posted the message after Mr Salmond was pictured with Scottish Open winner Phil Mickelson at Muirfield, tweeting: “Can anyone remember last time a British PM was pictured with Open winner? Is FM an a***?”

Mr Sinclair, a former advisor to Gordon Brown during his time as Prime Minister, also poked fun at the First Minister’s weight following the news that the 58-year-old SNP leader was on a diet, adding: “Looking at the picture ... which one is on Rihanna’s bikini diet ... as the SNP spun last weekend?”

The Sun are reporting that a complaint was made by an SNP supporter about Mr Sinclair’s comments, which remain on his Twitter profile. His comments attracted criticism from some tweeters, with one asking: “What are you? A strategist or a gossip columnist? This is demeaning to everyone.”

Considered one of the party’s top spin doctors, Mr Sinclair works closely with leader Johann Lamont, and is bound by strict Scottish parliament rules stating that MSPs and workers are to be treated with respect.

Defending the comments, Mr Sinclair, a former political editor of the Daily Record, claimed that the remarks were not part of a ‘hate campaign’, just ‘a sense of national embarrassment.’

In 2007, Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexander’s press adviser Matthew Marr resigned his position after making abusive comments about Mr Salmond and other SNP figures at the Politician of the Year awards ceremony - just weeks after the party’s chief press officer Brian Lironi quit after a month in post.

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