Scottish independence: Darling’s security concern

Alistair Darling. Picture: TSPL
Alistair Darling. Picture: TSPL
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BETTER Together leader Alistair Darling is due to talk to police about security arrangements for Scotland’s independence referendum.

Mr Darling will seek assurances from Police Scotland in relation to campaigning events over the coming 18 days, with specific focus on the arrangements in place for polling day.

No campaigners have expressed concerns over the potential for trouble as voters cast their ballots on September 18.

It follows a turbulent week on the campaign trail which saw Labour MP Jim Murphy suspend his tour amid claims of organised intimidation by Yes supporters.

Mr Murphy was pelted with eggs and said he has been threatened with violence during his 100 Towns in 100 Days tour for the union.

He said disruption at his events was “organised and orchestrated by Yes Scotland, who are organising for mobs to turn up at each meeting to try and intimidate me, which won’t work, and to try and silence undecided voters”.

Mr Murphy will resume his tour in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

Alex Salmond condemned any intimidation from any side.

The First Minister said: “Somebody was convicted, of course, of online threats against me. Somebody thought his car should be a political weapon. There was a woman, a Yes campaigner, assaulted on the streets of Glasgow.

“I don’t hold press conferences accusing Mr Murphy of orchestrating these events, because I know that would be ridiculous to do so.”

Mary Pitcaithly, the Chief Counting Officer overseeing the referendum, has discussed security with Police Scotland, given the prospect of a high turnout for the vote.

Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins said: “The referendum is a significant event which is expected to attract a higher than normal turnout.

“Policing arrangements for the referendum are well in hand and will be appropriate and proportionate.”